Diversified manufacturing company ESCO Technologies focuses on three business segments: Utility Solutions (automation and communication devices for utilities), Filtration/Fluid Flow, and RF Shielding and Test. ESCO's communications equipment includes meter-reading technology and video surveillance systems used to monitor industrial applications. The company's filters are used in industrial applications, fuel systems, medical applications, and appliances. Test products include electromagnetic compatibility equipment such as antennas, probes, turntables, and calibration equipment, as well as radio-frequency shielding products.
In ESCO's Utility Solutions segment, Aclara is the industry leader in advanced metering infrastructure solutions and analytics for gas, water, and electric utilities. Doble partners with electric utilities, providing more than 5,500 companies with diagnostic test instruments, consulting and testing services, and the world's largest database of infrastructure asset test results.
Building on a heritage of innovation, ESCO's Filtration/Fluid Flow segment companies -- Crissair, PTI Technologies, and VACCO Industries deliver highly engineered fluid control services an technologies for mission critical systems. The segment's markets include commercial aerospace, space and defense, satellite communications, medical, industrial, and automotive.
In ESCO's RF Shielding and Test segment, the ETS Lindgren subsidiary is the world's leading supplier of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio frequency (RP) test facilities, as well as shielded enclosures for medical and security applications.
ESCO's revenues decreased by 0.8% in fiscal year 2012 due to a 9.1% decrease in utility segment revenues thanks to a $34.6 million decrease in net sales from Aclara caused by lower deliveries of Advanced Metering Infrastructure products for the New York City water project ($17.4 million), the Pacific Gas & Electric Company gas project ($18.4 million) and the Federal Commission of Electricity electric project in Mexico ($29.6 million).
Other factors included a 0.3% decrease in Test sales revenues due to a $6 million decrease in net sales from the segment's US operations primarily driven by lower shipments of shielding for a NASA project in Florida, and a $1.3 million decrease in net sales from the segment's European operations.
However, weaker sales elsewhere were offset by a 16.2% increase in Filtration net sales due to higher shipments of its Space products; a $6.6 million increase in net sales from its Thermoform Engineered Quality unit, mainly due to higher shipments to commercial customers; a $6.5 million increase in net sales from PTI Technologies driven by higher shipments of aerospace assemblies, elements and couplings; and a $5.5 million increase at Crissair mainly due to higher product shipments and price increases on its products.
ESCO's net income decreased by 11% in fiscal year 2012 driven by lower revenues, an increase in SG&A expenses due to new product development costs for additional Space product applications, additional content on Airbus platforms, and an increase in head count.
ESCO has been expanding its Utility Solutions business via acquisitions and investing in new products; the business accounted for 46% of the company's total revenues in fiscal year 2012. The company boosted its utility offerings in early 2013 with the acquisition of smart grid services provider Metrum Technologies.
In 2010 ESCO acquired Crissair, a Palmdale, California, maker of hydraulic, fuel and pneumatic system products for commercial and military aircraft. Crissair became part of ESCO's filtration and fluid flow business segment, and its $27 million in annual revenue is projected to double the segment's revenues. ESCO also acquired Xtensible Solutions, a leading provider of semantic-based information management and integration services. The deal boosted the company's capacity to support utilities in implementing Smart Grid technology.