For Eaton, diversified operations are key to a healthy business. The industrial manufacturer offers a host of electrical products, systems, and services for power transmission, distribution, and control, as well as lighting and wiring products, hydraulics components for industrial and mobile equipment, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use, aerospace fuel, and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for vehicle performance and fuel economy. The company, formerly Eaton Corporation, changed its name to Eaton Corporation plc in December 2012 after acquiring and combining with Cooper Industries in a mega $13 billion deal.
The $13 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries was the largest in Eaton's more than 100-year history. The milestone transaction creates a giant in the global power management industry, broadening the combined company's portfolio of products and services and strengthening its geographic reach. Cooper brings to the table a proven set of offerings in the areas of utility power distribution, smart grid, lighting, controls, wiring, and safety.
Eaton has a long history of rounding out the diversity of its product and service lineup through acquisitions and joint ventures. In 2012 the company scooped up companies around the world, including in Chile (integrated power assemblies and switchgear manufacturer Rolec Comercial e Industrial S.A.), South Korea (maker of track drives and control valves for the construction market Jeli Hydraulics Co., Ltd.), and Turkey (hydraulic and industrial hose maker Polimer Kauçuk Sanayi ve Pazarlama A.S.). Also in 2012 the company launched Eaton SAMC, a joint venture with Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co., a subsidiary of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. Eaton previously made eight acquisitions in fiscal 2011.
Eaton sells products and services to customers in more than 150 countries. The company maintains a balanced mix of sales among its geographic segments. In fiscal 2011 the US accounted for 45% of sales, followed by international developed markets at 28% and international emerging markets at 27%.
Eaton organizes its business into five primary segments: Electrical, Hydraulics, Truck, Automotive, and Aerospace. Top segment Electrical pulls in about 45% of sales, but the remainder is well dispersed among the other four segments.
The Electrical segment specializes in automation and control, circuit protection, electrical distribution, and power backup and monitoring products, supplemented by a services team of power and energy engineers who support customers' needs at every stage of a power system's lifecycle, from design to build to maintain. Hydraulics makes connectors, filters, hoses, motors, pumps, and valves, as well as electronics and software for mobile and industrial applications like moving, turning, shaping, molding, lifting, digging, or hauling. Within the Hydraulics segment, the Airflex business manufactures industrial clutches and brakes.
The Truck segment delivers products -- clutches, transmissions, hybrid power systems, and diagnostic tools -- specifically geared at fleet owners and trucking companies. Eaton's Michigan-based Automotive segment offers new and aftermarket products that improve car control, efficiency, and performance; it has more than 30 manufacturing locations worldwide from which it serves global automotive OEMs. The Aerospace segment designs and manufactures components that power cockpit interfaces, engines, fuel systems, hydraulic systems, and motion controls within commercial and military aircraft.
Diversity and balance of sales across all business segments and geographic markets allowed Eaton to reach record sales and earnings in fiscal 2011, with sales surpassing $16 billion for the first time and up 17% from 2010. Net income in 2011 increased 44%, besting the previous record set in 2007 by 19%. Other factors that are helping Eaton achieve positive results are overall higher customer demand across all segments and efficiencies gained from companywide cost-cutting efforts initiated in 2009.