Harris has ways to make its customers communicate. The company, which develops communications products for government and commercial customers in more than 125 countries, makes radio-frequency (RF) and satellite communications and other wireless network transmission equipment; air traffic control systems; and digital network management systems. Harris also offers specialized IT services. Harris' commercial clients come from the construction, energy, health care, maritime, oil, transportation, and utilities industries.
Harris operates 145 locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the US, which generates 92% of its overall revenue.
Harris' largest segment, RF communications (35% of sales), offers radio communications and encryption technology for the US DoD, international tactical communications, and public safety and professional communications. Government communications systems (35%) provides advanced communications and information systems to government civil, national intelligence, and defense programs. Civil settings include aviation and weather; national intelligence applications provide tracking, surveillance, cyber security and other functions; defense programs offers communications and information processing in support of missions and other defense operations. Integrated network solutions (30%) offers IT services, managed satellite and terrestrial communications, and health care interoperability and image management.
Sales and Marketing
Its primary customers are US government agencies, including prime contractors and supported foreign militaries, accounting for about 70% of sales.
Harris is attempting to bounce back after two consecutive years of drops in revenue. Revenues fell 6% from $5.45 billion in 2012 to $5.11 billion in 2013. After posting profit of $30 million in 2012 (its lowest in a decade), profits more than tripled to $113 million in 2013 due to decreased losses stemming from discontinued operations.
The lower revenue for 2013 was driven by a 14% drop in RF communications, due to lower tactical communications revenue, primarily within the US. Integrated network solutions revenue also dropped 2% due to lower IT services revenue.
Harris considers its greatest opportunities for growth to be in managed satellite communications, public safety and professional communications, health care IT, and emerging national markets. Affected sectors include energy, maritime, and government. The continued global deployment of the wireless 4G LTE standard will help fuel growth.
More recently, the company is focusing on Brazil and the Middle East. To better focus on these growth areas, Harris in early 2013 sold its Broadcast Communications unit -- which includes TV and radio transmission systems, digital signage, and other digital media management services -- to The Gores Group for about $225 million.
Harris has also added to its IT services and software operations through acquisitions. In 2011 it paid $155 million for Carefx, a private company that offered Fusionfx, a software platform that compiles patient information from different systems and departments and delivers it in one program. The purchase put Harris in position to provide services related to the integration of the VA and Military Health Systems.