Cubic's products and services fit in squarely with the global defense and transportation industries. With business divided into three main segments, it provides mission support services, which include actual combat rehearsal exercises prior to deployment, to national militaries and US security forces and their allies. It manufactures air and ground combat instrumentation systems for live and virtual training, as well as communications, global asset tracking, and cyber security equipment for the defense market. Thirdly, it provides automated fare collection (AFC) management systems and services for mass transit (including bus, light rail, ferry, and parking) worldwide.
Mission support services (MSS), 34% of sales, operates from more than 130 sites in 20+ nations and provides services for three of the Army's Combat Training Centers, the Joint Coalition Warfare Center, and the Korea Battle Simulation Center. The segment has driven all Marine Corps simulation-based exercises since 1998. Cubic transportation systems (CTS, 38% of sales) has worked on more than 400 projects in 40 major markets, including the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden, the UK. The segment's services include system design, central computer systems, equipment design, software development, and retail point of sale network management.
Defense systems, 28% of sales, is divided into training systems, communications, global asset tracking, and cyber security. Training systems is divided into air combat and ground combat groups. Communications provides Common Data Link (CDL) products for ships, unmanned aerial vehicles, and remote video terminals. Global asset tracking is focused on the US Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain. Cyber security has been built on recent acquisitions over the years.
Cubic has a global presence in 26 countries on five continents. The US accounts for 55% of Cubic's revenue, while the UK generates nearly 20%. Other major markets include Australia and the Far East.
Sales and Marketing
About 62% of Cubic's total revenue in 2013 were generated from the US federal, state and local governments. About 5% of these domestic sales were attributable to foreign military sales, which are sales to allied foreign governments facilitated by the US government. The remainder of its 2013 sales derived from foreign government agencies.
After sales peaked at a record-high of $1.38 billion in 2012, revenues dropped roughly 2% to $1.36 billion in 2013 due to a 5% drop in MSS sales for the year. Cubic also experienced a 19% drop in sales from Australia and a 45% decrease in sales from Canada. The slight drop for 2013 was offset by positive gains the company made through acquisitions.
Cubic's profits also dropped 78% from $92 million in 2012 to $20 million in 2013. This was driven by the lower revenue, higher interest expenses, and less of a gain on income taxes when compared to the previous year. Cubic suffered a massive drop in operating cash flow from 2011 to 2012 and has posted negative cash flow the last two years.
Expanding its services is a component of the company's growth strategy. Counting 58% of its sales from services, the company has positioned CTS to offer more services to meet the growing technical complexities of electronic fare collection systems. MSS is also developing new services to meet the demands of additional work for its US Air Force Research Laboratories contract and a new contract with the US Army Training and Doctrine Command Future Warfare Studies Program.
Another prong in Cubic's general strategy is diversifying business. Relying directly and indirectly on the US government for sales, the company notes that this government business fulfills needs for a wide variety of government agencies. The company aims to maintain the diverse mix of business attendant on serving a variety of customer needs.
Growing internationally is another goal. The CTS segment recently expanded in Australia through a contract for Sydney's Electronic Ticketing System. The defense systems segment received a contract to supply the Saudi Arabian National Guard with the Engagement skills Trainer. In 2013 the company's defense systems segment expanded its presence in the UK, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates in response to growing opportunities. These moves complemented its well-established presence in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Cubic accelerates its growth plans through the use of acquisitions. In early 2016, it enhanced its defense systems segment though the $232 million purchase of GATR Technologies, a manufacturer of next-generation deployable satellite communication terminal products and equipment based in Huntsville, Alabama.
To broaden its cyber security business, in 2014 Cubic purchased Intific, an Austin, Texas-based advanced technology company focused on software and game-based technology in modeling and simulation, training and education, cyber warfare, and neuroscience. Intific will become part of the defense systems segment.
The late Walter Zable founded Cubic in 1951 to make military electronics. The company went public in 1959, and in the late 1960s and early 1970s it expanded into revenue collection systems.