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Boeing Back To The Drawing Board


Another government contract do-over.


Greetings from New York, where I'm as patriotic as the next guy. I pay my taxes, fly a flag and spent last weekend teaching my kids how July 4th is a celebration of when America "told those pompous Limeys where they could stick their freaking Stamp Act."

Still, re-competing this tanker contract ignores a valuable learning opportunity for Boeing (BA). They're simply never going to learn how to be a better multinational aerospace concern if the government keeps doing these contracts over and over again until Boeing wins. And, speaking of taxes, it's a lead-pipe cinch that you and I are going to be picking up the tab for what will turn out to be a shockingly expensive and protracted re-bidding process. "Saving the tanker project" makes a nice headline in an election year but it's a jolly-rogering all around for tax payers and Northrop Grunman (NOC).

Here's what I'm watching with the time I'm not spending buying Boeing stock:

  • In other Boeing news, the company sees a $3.2 trillion aircraft market over the next 20 years. "If the airlines refuse to buy planes from us because they are 'bankrupt' or 'no longer exist' we'll simply stamp our feet and scream until they reconsider," said a Boeing spokesman.

  • Alcoa (AA) posted an "earnings beat" last night, leading to a slew of "I thought you said Alcoa was going to miss, Macke, you dunderhead!" emails. Listen, I'll cop to it when I'm wrong but the Alcoa estimate fell throughout the quarter and dropped 4-cents yesterday morning. So, yeah, Alcoa "beat." And Boeing "won." And Hank Paulson is "in favor" of a "strong dollar." Come on, folks.

  • Lotta Buzz (and some Banter) regarding yesterday's column on the Ag names and whether or not the related stocks are being driven by "speculation or real demand". My point was, is and will remain this: It doesn't really matter. Trade the charts, not the story on all things commodity-related.

  • There was some speculation this morning that Google (GOOG) isn't making as much as expected from its purchase. The article begs the question "Who in the world thought Google was ever going to make a penny from posting stuff like 'Dancing Matt'?" Hypnotic? Yup. Revenue-driving? Uhhhh...

  • If T-Boone Pickens didn't exist we'd have to invent him. Seriously. If we can re-do defense contracts until the home-team wins, can't we make it a law that every election year has a lunatic/ genius Texan in the mix?
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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