Too common? Not at all. Ducommun designs and makes aerostructures and electromechanical components for commercial and military aircraft, as well as for missile and space programs. Structural Systems engineers and manufactures structures and assemblies, such as aircraft wing spoilers and helicopter blades using aluminum, composites, and titanium. Electronic Systems makes electromechanical components, such as switch assemblies, actuators, keyboard panels, and avionics racks. Products for military and space applications account for almost 40% of its sales each year.
Structural Systems' (SS) production techniques include stretch-forming (the creation of large structural shapes from aluminum sheet metal extrusions) and hot-forming (metal working at high temperature) and computer-controlled machining. The segment also provides chemical milling (the removal of material to reduce weight) services. Besides making electronic, electromechanical, and interconnect systems and components, Electronic Systems (ES) offers services that include design, integration, and testing for advanced weapons and missile defense systems.
The company has facilities in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Ducommun also operates plants in Mexico and Thailand.
Sales and Marketing
The company serves the aerospace, defense, industrial, natural resources and medical industries. Boeing accounted for 16% of 2015 revenues; Raytheon, 9%.
Ducommun saw its revenues drop 10% in 2015 due to decreased sales for both segments: SS (15%) and ES (7%). Both segments suffered from a decrease in military and space revenue mainly due to a cutback in US government defense spending and shifting spending priorities. This impacted scheduled deliveries on fixed-wing and helicopter platforms, partially offset by an increase in commercial aerospace revenue.
The company posted a net loss of $73 million in 2015 due to goodwill impairment charges within both of its segments and about $15 million in losses related to the payment of debt. In addition to its revenue and net income declines, Ducommun's operating cash flow decreased by 56% in 2015.
The company focuses on further expansion within the commercial airplane market, and growing on growing its non-A&D business as expeditiously as possible. Divestitures are a major element of Ducommun's strategy. In 2016 it sold a Pittsburgh-based non-core business for $42 million and its former Miltec subsidiary for $28 million and will continue to shed non-core or underperforming assets.
Considered the oldest company in California with a founding date of 1849, Ducommun is dedicated to new technologies for the aerospace industry. It was the first to make all-composite rotor blades for Sikorsky S-61 helicopters; traditional blades were made of a mixture of metal and composite materials.