It turns out that AAR Corp. (NYSE:AIR) could be a silent beneficiary of the recent aircraft purchase deal between Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) and Iran. But that is not all, because the bullish projections for the aviation industry also favor AAR Corp.
The reason the spotlight is turning to AAR in the Boeing-Iran deal is that as a less-known aviation player, its sanguine prospects are not fully accounted for in the stock. As such, it could be an exciting equity discovery for investors who are brave enough to hunt for opportunities in an apparently bearish global economy.
Doused appetite for stocks
Investors are already faced with enough bad news about the global economy to cause them to sit on the fence or bail out of stocks. Next week’s Brexit vote hangs as a heavy cloud over investors given the potential disruption of markets if Britons choose to pull out of the European Union.
The lower interest rate environment also continues to hurt bank stocks. On top of that, the fresh slump in oil prices is also threatening energy loans for banks, which could further complicate an already difficult situation for lenders.
But aviation offers hope
But under the radar, AAR comes across as an aviation stock that could make a difference for equity investors. First, there is the $8 billion aircraft purchase agreement that Boeing sealed with Iran. Because Iran will be seeking to catch up with neighbors and rivals in the commercial and military aviation space after its international sanctions were withdrawn, it could be out to make more aviation deals, especially if oil prices recover faster.
The reason AAR stands to benefit from the arrangement is that it is a major provider of aftermarket services such as maintenance, repair and overhaul work for Boeing aircraft.
Demand for air travel
Besides the Boeing-Iran deal, AAR is also well-situated to ride the wave of strong demand for global air travel. According to IATA, the global air passenger traffic increased 6.5% in 2015 over the prior year. Lower fuel prices and a rising middle class in many emerging markets are some of the factors boosting demand for air travel. But as airlines put their equipment to work frequently and acquire new ones to expand capacity, they will also require more maintenance services and AAR Corp will be on hand to take up the jobs given its expertise and reputation.