Boeing’s Third-Quarter Deliveries Miss Estimates. The Stock Drops (A Little).

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Boeing delivers 85 jets in the third quarter, up from 79 aircraft in the second quarter.

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The commercial-aerospace market is improving, slowly.

Boeing (ticker: BA) reported third-quarter deliveries Tuesday of 85 jets. That’s up from 79 jets delivered in the second quarter.

What’s more, the company delivered 66 737 MAX jets, up from 50 delivered in the second quarter.

“We increased 737 MAX deliveries in the quarter, and progressed in safely returning the 737 MAX to service in more international markets,” Boeing saidin a news release, adding that “we made important progress driving stability throughout our operations in the third quarter, as we prioritized safety and quality.”

The company didn’t deliver any 787 jets, however. The large, twin-aisle jets are still waiting to receive an OK from the Federal Aviation Administration after some manufacturing quality issues were discovered in recent months.

Baird analyst Peter Arment projected 83 deliveries for the third quarter. Boeing beat his number, although Arment wrote that his Wall Street peers were projecting more than 100 deliveries. The difference between Arment and Wall Street appears to be timing on 787 deliveries. The 787 delivery delay isn’t new, and analysts don’t always update financial models with each news story.

Arment rates Boeing stock at Buy with a $306 price target.

The Boeing stock reaction Tuesday shows that investors aren’t all that surprised by the delivery miss. Boeing stock was up about 0.2% in midday trading, shortly after the delivery figures were released. The stock is now down about 0.4% as of 1:42 p.m. ET. The S&P 500 is flat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average if off by about 0.1%.

Boeing stock has risen about 5% year to date, trailing behind the 16% gains of the S&P 500. Shares have dropped about 5% over the past three months as Covid-19 infections have risen, in part, due to the Delta variant.

In the third quarter, Boeing also delivered 37 military aircraft in the third quarter, down from 43 in the second quarter.

Boeing reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 27. Analysts and investors will have the chance to dive deeper into the number and get updates on programs—like the 787—then.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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