* Analysts say possible 787 delay priced into shares
* Boeing stock down more than 6 percent since 787 fire
* Shares up 3.4 pct on Thursday
(Updates with LAN cargo expansion)
By Kyle Peterson
CHICAGO, Nov 18 A seventh delay for the
long-awaited Boeing Co (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner is all but certain
and has already been priced into the company's shares, analysts
said on Thursday.
Shares of Boeing, a Dow component, rose 3.4 percent on
Thursday, partly erasing losses since an electrical fire last
week forced it to halt Dreamliner test flights, but the stock
was still down more than 6 percent since the Nov. 9 incident.
"I certainly think there's a very high probability there
will be a seventh delay announced in the first delivery," said
Kenneth Herbert, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
"People just really think there has been a lot of negative
news priced into the stock," he said.
Herbert said he thinks Boeing, which competes with Airbus
EAD.PA for commercial plane orders, may delay first delivery
of the light-weight, carbon-composite plane to June or July
from the current target of mid-first quarter of 2011.
"Right now nobody has a good idea," Herbert said.
Alex Hamilton, managing director of EarlyBirdCapital, said
the sell-off in Boeing shares provides a buying opportunity
because so many investors already are braced for a delay.
"A lot of this is priced in," said Alex Hamilton, managing
director of EarlyBirdCapital. "There's no certainty as to when
flight testing is going to resume. Wall Street hates
Boeing says the fire is being investigated and that it
remains unclear whether there will be another delay to the
program, which already is nearly three years behind schedule.
"The investigation is ongoing," said Boeing spokeswoman
Loretta Gunter. "Until it is complete, we won't have a good
understanding of schedule impact."
Speculation is rampant in the aviation industry that
another delay is in the cards.
Guesses range from a few months to a few years.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of Air Lease Corp, told
Bloomberg on Thursday that the first delivery will "definitely"
Air Lease has no 787 orders. But International Lease
Finance Corp, the airplane leasing company Hazy formerly ran,
has orders for 74 787s.
Also on Thursday, Boeing said it took a new order for one
777 from Latin America's LAN Airlines SA LAN.SN in the week
that ended Nov. 16.
LAN said the purchase was part of plans to add five Boeing
aircraft to its cargo fleet for an expansion of subsidiaries in
Brazil and Mexico. The company said it would add three rented
Boeing 767 planes by January and incorporate two new 777s in
the fourth quarter of 2012.
In a weekly report, Boeing also identified Brazil's GOL
Airlines as the buyer in a previous order for 20 737s.
The 777 order is potentially worth $271.8 million at list
prices. Boeing has logged a net 484 commercial aircraft orders
this year compared with 263 in all of 2009.
Boeing shares rose 3.4 percent to close at $64.61 on the
New York Stock Exchange. The stock closed at $69.25 on Nov. 9,
before word of the test flight fire.
(Reporting by Kyle Peterson in Chicago and Brad Haynes in