Boeing Co., after investing heavily in new jet designs, may seefree cash flow as much as double during the next three years to $18billion, raising the prospect of bigger dividends or stockbuybacks.

A record backlog of commercial-jet orders is setting up Boeingfor a surge in cash as the Chicago-based planemaker cranks upproduction and trims spending for aircraft development programssuch as the 787 Dreamliner.

That gives Boeing the ability to increase its dividend or beginits first new buyback plan in five years. The company may announcethe purchase of $3 billion of its own stock, equal to about 5percent of the total outstanding, as soon as the fourth quarter,said Peter Arment, a Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. analyst.

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