I'll bet you've heard of this company many times...
But I doubt you are aware of how important it is.
I learned long ago to have this stock on my radar at all times. And after you hear what I have to say about it, I think you will too.
You see, there is an endless stream of data investors can use to help predict the economic weather... manufacturing utilization, durable goods orders, you name it.
But over the years, I have found one company to be an especially reliable barometer -- especially when it comes to investing in precious metals.
In fact, by using this company as an indicator, subscribers to Scarcity and Real Wealth who followed my "buy" recommendation on Nov. 2 pocketed a 42% return six trading days later.
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So what makes this company an economic bellwether for industrial metals demand? Simple. It's product line. Specifically, the size and scale of those products. You see, a single one can tip the scales at 250,000 pounds after it leaves the assembly line. It takes a lot of raw materials to manufacture something that big -- 135 miles of copper wiring and more than 1,000 sheets of riveted aluminum, to be exact.
And it's not just copper and aluminum being used. Molybdenum is also a key ingredient, along with cobalt and titanium. In fact, titanium accounts for 15% of the construction materials for the company's latest 787 Dreamliner airplanes.
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With five different metals going into each airplane, Boeing's (NYSE: BA) sales are an excellent way to gauge demand for these critical natural resources. And right now, the needle on that gauge is pushing strongly in the right direction.
Boeing posted third-quarter earnings of $1.35 per share, outpacing Wall Street's $1.12 target. For the record, this is the fifth consecutive quarter that the aerospace giant has earned more than the market anticipated.
And management likes what it sees on the horizon. The company raised its full-year earnings forecast (for the third time) to as much as $4.95 per share, up from a prior outlook of between $4.40 and $4.60 per share.
Furthermore, Boeing's production plants are running at full speed. The company delivered 149 commercial airplanes last quarter, a solid 17% increase from a year ago. More important, the company booked more than twice that number (369) in new orders during the quarter.
Those new orders lifted the backlog to 4,100 planes awaiting construction. That backlog is valued at $307 billion. And Boeing isn't exactly the only plane-maker in town. European rival Airbus also has its hands full, and Canada's Bombardier recently landed the biggest order in company history.
Boeing's latest forecast indicates thatDelta (NYSE: DAL), Southwest (NYSE: LUV) and other carriers in North America will have to order 7,290 new planes during the next 20 years to replace aging jets and expand their fleets to accommodate demand. Those planes could carry a market value of $820 billion.
And that's just in North America. The numbers grow even larger when you include booming air travel in emerging markets, particularly Asia. China alone has outlined plans to build as many as 70 new airports just within the next three years as millions more travelers take to the skies.
Bottom line: Partly to reduce fuel expenses, partly to replace outdated models, and partly to put more seats in the sky, there is a sustained boom in airplane construction that could last for the rest of this decade.
Boeing may be a great addition to any portfolio, especially considering its backlog. But a company with a $55 billion market cap isn't going to move the needle over night.
And while nothing is guaranteed, as this boom continues I believe there will be sustained demand for the precious metals used to make each plane... and rising share prices for the companies that produce those metals.
And I am not the only one who likes what they are seeing in precious metals...
Action to Take --> One producer that I had my eye on was Titanium Metals (NYSE: TIE). I recommended this stock to my subscribers on Nov. 2 based on this Boeing test. Shortly thereafter, the stock jumped 42% in one day after Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP) made a takeover offer. I followed up with readers that day, telling them that I was cashing in on my gains.
Precision Castparts is benefiting from many of the same aerospace growth drivers as Titanium Metals and is a company worth keeping your eye on.
-- Nathan Slaughter