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 (rubber) 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, about 38% of sales, 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, also about 38% of sales, 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, about a quarter of sales, 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 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 2014 the US accounted for 47% 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.
The company's 2013 revenue was restated to reflect the divestiture of non-core units, which included Eclipse Electronic Systems.
Esterline's overall revenues rose about 4% to $2.05 billion in 2014 from 2013 as Avionics & Controls and Sensors & Systems posted higher sales while Advanced Materials dropped 1%. Sensors & Systems jumped 10% on sales from the Sunbank acquisition (in 2013) and higher sales volumes of connection technologies for commercial aviation and industrial applications. The increase in power systems sales mainly reflected higher OEM sales for commercial aviation applications
After a 46% increase in net income n 2013, net income fell in 2014 to about $102, a 38% drop. The 2013 results included the sale of a product line. Esterline had higher operating expenses in 2014, mainly high research and development costs and restructuring charges.
Cash from operations followed net income and dropped 14% in 2014 from 2013.
Esterline reversed its 2011 purchase of Eclipse Electronic Systems and sold the unit in 2014 to BAE Systems for about $28 million. Shedding Eclipse, which develops surveillance and reconnaissance systems, allows Esterline to focus on its core assets.
But the company has acquired as well as divested and formed partnerships to extend its reach. In a 2014 partnership, it agreed to supply Rolls-Royce with 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 more effective collaboration.
Mergers and Acquistions
In 2014, Esterline acquired the aerospace and defense display businesses of Barco, which designs and manufactures displays, including a line for use in harsh environments and other visualization systems. It sells to avionics, defense, air traffic control, and training and simulation markets. The purchase price was about $187 million.
In the previous year, 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.