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Boeing at two-week high as approval for 737 MAX to fly seen by late...

FILE PHOTO: Visitors talk on the Boeing stand during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Cointrin Airport in Geneva, Switzerland May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

(Reuters) - Shares of Boeing Co rose as much as 3% to more than a two-week high on Friday after Reuters reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve 737 MAX jets to return to service as soon as late June.

Shares of the world’s biggest planemaker have fallen nearly 15% since the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet in March, erasing about $40 billion in market value.

The stock has also been among the worst performers on the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The benchmark index is up about 3% during the same period, while the Dow has risen by a marginal 0.2%.

“The dialogue is shifting more towards when the aircraft can get back into service as opposed to if,” Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani wrote in a note.

“With shares down about 20% from their recent highs ... and the risk-reward skewing more favorably, we are comfortable with our “overweight” rating and price target of $500.”

If the aircraft is cleared to fly by June, its operators, including Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc, would likely not have to extend costly cancellations that they have already put in place for the peak summer flying season.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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