NEW YORK (Reuters) – The fall in Boeing shares has made the stock’s valuation less expensive but that may not make it an obvious buy for investors.
The planemaker’s shares have fallen 11 percent this week after a Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed 157 people prompted the grounding of Boeing’s global 737 MAX fleet. Boeing shares were down 0.5 percent $375.09 on Thursday afternoon.
The declines come after a run for Boeing shares that saw the price more than double over the past two years, making the company the largest U.S. industrial firm by market value.
This week’s slide means the stock as of Wednesday was trading at about 18.2 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, according to Refinitiv data. That valuation is in line with its average forward P/E ratio over the past five years and well below the 20.5 times the stock was trading at a week ago.
But whether that means the stock is actually cheap at these levels could depend on the extent of the financial fallout from the crash, which investors and analysts were still assessing.
For example, according to Refinitiv data, the consensus analyst estimate for Boeing’s earnings per share this year, which calls for 26 percent growth, has not changed this week amid the evolving fallout for the company.
Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes will remain grounded for “weeks” at a minimum until a software upgrade could be tested and installed in all of the planes, U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday.
Nancy Tengler, chief investment strategist at Tengler Wealth Management in Phoenix, which bought shares more than three years ago and has since seen the stock climb, said she was neither selling nor buying the stock this week.
“It’s fully-valued, based on what we know,” Tengler said. “If people start yanking orders … then the valuation might be a little bit high.”
“This is going to be one of those restarts for the company,” she added.