Boeing is a US aerospace and defence company that designs, manufactures and sells airplanes, rockets, missiles and satellites, as well as offering related equipment and services. Founded in Seattle in 1916 by William Boeing, the company started its life as Aero Products Company, but this was short-lived as it was renamed Boeing Airplane Company in 1917. In 1929, it acquired several aircraft makers, such as Avion, Chance Vought, Sirkosky, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Metalplane.
Four of the company’s smaller airlines were merged into United Airlines in 1931, and in 1960, the company bought Vertol Aircraft Corporation, which at the time, was one of the world’s largest independent helicopter manufacturers. After this point, the company began to venture into areas such as space travel, marine craft, agriculture, energy production and transit systems. Previously chairman of the business, Pennsylvanian-born David L Calhoun has been the CEO of Boeing since 2020.
What does the company offer?
The company is organised into four divisions: Boeing Commercial Airlines, Boeing Capital, Boeing Global Services and Boeing Defence, Space & Security. It’s continuing to expand its product line to meet the ever-expanding requirements of its customers, and the company also provides aftermarket support, logistics and training services.
Boeing is one of the world’s largest producers of satellites. The company has launched more than 50 of its flagship satellite to date, the Boeing 702. These provide broadband internet, mobile and other digital communications. In terms of military applications, the company has been providing missiles including the small diameter bomb (SDB) and the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), alongside its Harpoon missile system, which it supplies to the US Airforce, US Navy, the Marines and international allies.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company in terms of revenue, and supplies products to more than 150 countries. It’s also one of the largest defence contractors and a leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, and space and security systems. The company delivers its products on a large scale, with 3,664 commercial airliners delivered between 2013 and 2018, and 1,000 military aircraft and satellites within the same time period.
The business employs more than 142,000 staff across the US and to 65 additional countries. Boeing invests heavily in its research and development department. Between 2017 and 2021, it maintained an average $2.82bn annual spend on R&D, according to Statista.
BA stock price overview
Boeing stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker [BA]. It’s a component of major US indices including the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Exchange (DJIA). It began trading in 1962 with an IPO share price of 82¢.
Throughout this period to the 1980s, Boeing stock struggled to move past the $20 mark. It was not until March 1996 that it finally broke this barrier, and the share price began to climb consistently. The first major event for Boeing’s share price was in 1997, when it reached its highest valuation of $36.50.
One of the most significant increases in price came in 2016, with BA shares being valued at $121 in September and skyrocketing for the next two and a half years to $441 in 2019. However, the company had also been involved in two high-profile fatal crashes of its 737 MAX aircraft, resulted in the fleet being grounded, and had a negative impact on market sentiment towards Boeing.
The company’s market capitalisation rose to $213bn in 2018, reaching even further in 2019 to $248bn. Unfortunately, this valuation was short lived, as by May 2020, it had plummeted to $71bn, which can be partially attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.