Esterline Technologies has a trio of aerospace, defense, and commercial business segments: Avionics & Controls, Sensors & Systems, and Advanced Materials. Avionics & Controls makes interface systems (switches, indicators, keyboards, displays, GPS systems) for aircraft and military vehicles, communications systems, and medical equipment. Sensors & Systems operations include temperature and pressure sensors, as well as power switching, data communications, and fluid control devices. Advanced Materials makes elastomer products and, through the defense group, ordnance and military countermeasures. Esterline also offers aftermarket parts and service, which have higher sales margins than OEM sales.
The company's businesses are Avionics & Controls, Sensors & Systems, and Advanced Materials. Avionics & Controls focuses on integrated cockpit systems, technology interface systems for commercial and military aircraft, and similar devices for land- and sea-based military vehicles, secure communication systems, military audio and data products, embedded communication intercept receivers, specialized medical equipment and other industrial applications.
Sensors & Systems includes operations that produce high-precision temperature and pressure sensors, electrical power switching, electrical interconnection systems, and other related systems principally for aerospace and defense customers. Advanced Materials focuses on thermally engineered components for critical aerospace applications, high-performance elastomer products used in a wide range of commercial aerospace and military applications, and combustible ordnance and warfare countermeasure devices. All segments include sales to domestic, international, defense and commercial customers.
About 80% of revenue comes from the aerospace and defense markets.
Esterline has manufacturing facilities located in Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, the UK, and the US, and sales and service operations in Brazil, China, Singapore, and the US. In 2013 the US accounted for 51% of the company's revenues.
Sales and Marketing
Esterline's market segments are balanced and diverse, with a focus on niche markets. Its sales are fairly evenly distributed between the defense market and commercial aerospace customers; a minority of sales is generated by the general industrial market. Esterline gets a substantial amount of sales from the US government, including the US Department of Defense. Other top customers include Astrium, Boeing, Bombardier, General Electric, Honeywell, Airbus, and Lockheed Martin.
Esterline's overall revenues decreased by 1% in 2013 due to a softening of demand across the board but especially in Avionics & Controls, which saw a 2% drop. Advanced Materials also dropped 2% and Sensors & Systems was flat.
Esterline's net income, which had been down 15% in 2012, rebounded to $165 million, an increase of 46%, in 2013. The improvement was due to the sale of a product line and decreased goodwill impairment.
Cash from operations continued its upward trend and hit $251 million in 2013. Esterline attributed the increase to higher net earnings and cash received from the sale of products.
Esterline is intent on growing its business to maintain a leadership position in niche markets for the development and manufacture of highly engineered products.To do that, it has been forming partnerships, making acquisitions, and rearranging its operations. For example, in 2014 it agreed to partner with Rolls-Royce on supplying sensors and controls for Airbus A-350 engines. The previous year it began the process of combining its communications and control systems within Avionics & Controls for better synergies. It also made two acquisitions, totally nearly $100 million, for its Sensors & Systems and Avionics and Controls divisions.
Mergers and Acquistions
In 2013 Esterline purchased Sunbank Family of Companies, a maker of electric cables, conduits and accessories, to be part of its Sensors & Systems group. It also bought gaming input device maker Gamesman Group, which is now part of Avionics & Controls. The deals cost $45 million and $41 million, respectively.