Aerojet Rocketdyne (formerly GenCorp) wants to take you higher -- if you're a rocket, that is. The company is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of propulsion systems for defense and space applications in the US. These systems are used in missiles, maneuvering systems, launch vehicles, spacecraft, and satellites. Virtually all its revenue comes from aerospace and defense. Principal customers include the US Department of Defense, NASA, and Lockheed Martin. In 2015 the company changed its name to Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. Aerojet refers to a longtime part of the company and Rocketdyne to a significant acquisition. The company also has a much smaller business segment that deals in real estate.
The company's Aerospace and Defense segments includes the operations of its wholly owned subsidiary Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., a technology-based designer, developer, and manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems. Its customers include the US Department of Defense, NASA, major aerospace, and defense prime contractors as well as commercial aerospace companies. The Real Estate segment handles its wholly owned subsidiary Easton Development Company. Easton is involved in rezoning, entitlement, sale, and leasing of its excess real estate -- 12,000 acres adjacent to US Highway 50 between Rancho Cordova and Folsom, California. The holdings are in a rapidly urbanizing area east of Sacramento.
Headquartered in Rancho Cordova, California, Aerojet Rocketdyne operates manufacturing facilities around the US. It has multiple facilities in California and plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
It maintains marketing and sales office near the bases of its customers, the Washington, DC, area, and Huntsville, Alabama.
Sales and Marketing
US government departments and agencies are the end customers of about 92% of the Aerojet Rocketdyne's sales. In direct sales, the company's major customers are Lockheed Martin Corporation (28% of sales), United Launch Alliance (25%), and Raytheon Company (17%).
Aerojet Rocketdyne's pace of revenue growth was slow and steady until it moved like it was propelled by one of the company's propulsion systems. It spiked 38% higher in 2013 followed by a 15% jump in 2014 to reach $1.6 billion in 2014. The propulsion unit in this case was the company's Rocketdyne business, which had been acquired in 2013. Rocketdyne paced growth with contributions from increased deliveries on the Atlas V, THAAD, and Orion programs.
While the company's net income reached the stratospheric heights of $168 million, it plunged to a net loss of $53 million in 2014. Expenses in dealing with engine tests failures cost the company millions of dollars. It repaired or replace engines and increased hardware inspections and corrective actions on remaining engines. There were also delayed deliveries.
The 2013 acquisition of rival Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne from United Technologies Corporation was a significant boost for the company, doubling the size of its operations. RocketDyne has supplied the main engines for the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles.
The company is leveraging its base of technology with RocketDyne's to introduce new products for new markets. In 2015 it launched Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Supports and Flight of Third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-3) Tactical Communications Satellite System Spacecraft. The company placed the third of five planned MUOS-3 satellites, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, into orbit for the US Navy. The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, with five Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ60 solid rocket boosters (SRB), an RL10C-1 upper-stage engine and multiple spacecraft attitude control thrusters.