Shares of Boeing Co rose 0.5% following news that the plane maker might fly its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner on Dec. 15.
Boeing set the possible flight date after completing tests of a repair of a structural problem that caused the latest in a series of delays in the test flight.
The Dreamliner is more than two years behind schedule.
A successful test flight that meets the company’s target to fly the revolutionary light-weight, carbon-composite plane in 2009 would help repair Boeing’s tarnished credibility.
“After a seemingly endless wait, the first flight of the 787 is finally nigh,” said Rob Stallard, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, who raised his price target on the shares to $60 from $53.
“For Boeing to finally get the 787 into the air is a step in the right direction for the program, following a catalogue of errors and disappointments,” Stallard said in a research note. “We think this will have a positive impact on investor sentiment for the stock, and for the wider aerospace sector.”
Boeing said last Thursday that the test-flight date depends on “final internal reviews, taxi test, and receiving the final experimental ticket from the US Federal Aviation Administration.”
In the last two years, Boeing has announced five delays to the 787 test flight and to its delivery schedule as well. The program has been plagued by problems with suppliers, a 2008 labour strike and structural issues.