The 787 Dreamliner battery problems have been an ongoing background drone amid the business news for some time, but it looks like the coverage hasn’t affected the share price. In fact Boeing shares rose 12 per cent this year.
This could be because Boeing’s main business is not the 787, but the 737 – narrower crafts of which they’ll deliver 900 in the next two years (as opposed to 200 787s), and of which there are rumors of a $18bn deal this week with Ryanair. Boeing’s 2011 to 2014 shipments are also expected to grow an average 15 per cent annually. So if you’re a sensible investor, you won’t have paid much attention to all the battery stuff.
Still, the usual consensus is that media coverage affects share price far more than it should – not because investors are too gullible, but because they think other investors are. This even extends to twitter/facebook/youtube – at least according to this recent study by Arthur O’Connor, which seems to suggest a clear link between share price and positive social media mentions. (This hedge fund is trying to get in on the act by offering investors “mood analysis” of twitter, which they translate to the stock market. They do this in a fairly crude manner – looking at the frequency of words such as “calm” in relation with certain stocks – but it’s an interesting idea.)
Boeing investors are either very strong minded, or haven’t been keeping up with the news. Either way, it’s refreshing.