Rank: 39 (Previous rank: 36)
CEO: W. James McNerney Jr.
Was this company a 2011 top stock?
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The Seattle giant seems to have finally gotten past the long-term delays and disruptions it suffered trying to deliver the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jumbo jet. After what chief executive W. James McNerney Jr. described as a "a long, tough road," the company began ramping up production of the fuel-efficient Dreamliner, the first passenger jet made substantially of lightweight carbon composites. (The 787 -- which promises to fly further, on less fuel -- has had more advance sales than any other aircraft in history.)
Despite global economic turmoil, people kept flying and Boeing was the beneficiary. The firm is making a killing selling aircraft to emerging markets as well as fleets in established markets that are trying to become more efficient or replace older planes. The company had a record number of orders for its 777 as well as the 767, which it sells to the likes of FedEx and the U.S. Air Force. It also scored its largest commercial airplane order ever in a $19 billion deal to sell Southwest Airlines 208 737NG and MAX airplanes. With some $75 billion in new orders for the year, the backlog at Boeing's commercial division grew by $40 billion to an astounding $296 billion.
Industry: Aerospace and Defense