Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. The company operates in over 90 countries and claims the title of America's largest exporter. Its has three divisions: commercial airplanes, Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), and Boeing Capital Corporation Of the three divisions, the most prominent is the commercial airplane section. This division faces intense competition from EADS NV (EADSY) and its Airbus line of planes.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Boeing was originally founded in the 1910s in Seattle, Washington. After a series of mergers and splits (in which today's United Airlines was spun out, among others), Boeing emerged in the fifties as the premier US aircraft manufacturer, participating heavily in government air defense projects. It was not until 1958 that Boeing began delivery of its first commercial airplanes, the segment for which it is most commonly recognized today. Although Boeing is today perceived primarily as a maker of commercial planes, for much of its history, the company's involvement in space and defense programs has actually overshadowed its commercial airplanes manufacturing.
Boeing NASA Systems, based in Houston, is a major contributor to the space program. Boeing is responsible for building a lot of robotic equipment and hardware that NASA has used in its space shuttle and International space station.
AMR Corp's American Airlines is negotiating with aircraft makers EADS NV (EADSY) and Boeing Company (BA) to replace its entire domestic fleet of dreamliners by purchasing at least 300 airplanes in a deal valued at about $15 billion. American, which currently operates an all Boeing fleet, is interested in Airbus' narrow-body family of A320 airplanes as well as a new-engine A320 variant that will go into production in 2015. 
Commercial Airplanes (around 50% of revenues): This segment includes the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has had the most successful launch of any new commercial airplane in Boeing history based on the number of orders. However, the construction and testing of the plane has forced Boeing to delay its launch numerous times.
Integrated Defense Systems (around 50% of revenues): Notable IDS products include:
Boeing Capital Corporation (less than 1% of revenues): This segment is a provider of financial solutions for commercial and government airline customers. Basically, BCC owns planes and structures leases for customers to borrow their planes. This part of Boeing has seen significant decline because of the amount of older planes being taken out of the airways to make room for newer, more fuel efficient planes.
Typically, airline companies and aircraft manufacturers are more prone to swings in revenue and equity market prices due to the release of economic indicators. Consumers tend to reduce travel if personal economic conditions are suboptimal, forcing airlines to cut capacity and production. Indicators such as unemployment indices, personal income, and even home sales affect airline industries in exaggerated fashion. Though this means less for Boeing and more for the airlines themselves, reduced travel demand will mean significantly reduced demand for aircraft from Boeing, web free leaving the company vulnerable to low productivity and may affect its bottom line.
The airline industry is historically cyclical, with periodic downturns and upturns. Terrorist attacks like 9/11 and disease outbreaks like H1N1 can both have very negative impacts on airline travel, sparking an industry downturn that hurts airlines and manufacturers alike. Furthermore, Boeing depends heavily on international markets, primarily developing countries like China to maintain a steady demand for new aircraft. About two thirds of commercial airplane sales and backlogged orders come from international markets.
Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) revenues are largely dependent on the US Department of Defense's budget spending, and on Boeing’s ability to win new business from the Department. (Past Defense business Boeing has obtained include technology development for US Secure Border Initiative, new orders for the Apache and Chinook helicopter programs, and the Future Combat System program.)
The IDS division receives more than 80% of its revenue from the US Department of Defense, and due to strong congressional support for the Defense budget because of the war in Iraq, IDS saw record revenues in 2006. Defense aircraft spending may remain high as well--the average age of an Air Force aircraft is more than 25 years, so demand and support for defense aircraft replacement is high. This bodes well for Boeing, since the company produces many different kinds of fighter jets (F/A -18, F-15, F-22), tankers (KC-767) and transports (C-17, C-32A) for the US military. However, the Department of Defense's budget does vary according to perceived threat to the US, so reduced levels of global threat could have a negative effect on the budget.
Fixed cost development contracts allocate companies like Boeing a limited amount of money for defense product development that is not subject to change. Since defense companies often spend more money on projects than was initially agreed upon, this puts pressure on the companies. If fixed cost development contracts are indeed adopted by the US Department of Defense, Boeing could suffer.
Fuel expenses are by far the largest operating expenses in the airline industry, representing about one third of an airline's annual operating expenses on average. As a result, elevating fuel costs reduce profits for airline companies, who may cut down on airplane orders to make ends meet. For example, In 2007, Southwest Airlines Company (LUV)'s fuel expenses increased 10.4% because of higher fuel costs. Because of higher fuel prices, many airlines may reduce plans for capacity or Available Seat Miles (ASM) expansion, and thus may cut back on purchases of new aircraft.
Boeing has about 154,000 employees in its company, of whom about more than a third are unionized in various forms. If Boeing does not meet contracted union specifications about certain employee wages, hours, and working conditions, or if workers decide to raise demands, then massive strikes could result, creating serious problems for Boeing in the future, as it has in the past.
In the commercial airline business, Boeing operates in a duopoly with Airbus. Airbus is the largest subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. Airbus S.A.S., is an aircraft manufacturing company based out of several European nations, free webs with the majority of its operations in France, Germany and Spain., Airbus is the largest freight airline producer, and captures more than half of all airline orders of planes that have 100 or more seats.