About Cray Inc.

Cray makes computers that aren't just good -- they're super. Its massively parallel and vector supercomputers provide the firepower behind research ranging from weather forecasting and scientific research to design engineering and classified government projects. The company also sells its own and third-party high-performance data storage products and provides maintenance and support services. Cray's largest customer is the US government, which accounts for more than half of sales. Cray also targets academic institutions and industrial companies. Around two-thirds of sales come from customers in the US.

Operations

Cray operates in four segments.

The Supercomputing segment, 55% of revenue, offers advanced, integrated, and cluster computing systems used by research and engineering centers in universities, government laboratories, and commercial institutions. The segment includes systems maintenance and analysts.

The lineup of the Storage and Data Management segment, about an eighth of revenue, are the Cray DataWarp and ClusterStor systems. It also offers third-party storage products and maintenance analysts.

Maintenance and Support, about a quarter of revenue, provides ongoing maintenance of Cray supercomputers, big data storage, and analytics systems.

The Engineering Services and Other segment, about 10% of revenue, houses Cray's analytics and artificial intelligence businesses and Custom Engineering.

Overall, product sales of computing and storage systems account for about 65% of revenue with services providing the rest.

Cray has one manufacturing facility, but most of its production and assembly is handled by third-party contractors.

Geographic Reach

Cray is based in Seattle and has US operations in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Bloomington, Minnesota, San Jose, California, Austin, Texas, and Longmont, Colorado. Outside the US, the company has offices around the world.

Cray's sales are heavily concentrated in the US, which accounts for about 65% of revenue. The remaining 35% is spread across its international operations.

Sales and Marketing

Cray has a direct sales force that operates from sales and service facilities offices in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia, Australia, and Canada.

More than half of Cray's revenue comes from US federal government agencies while commercial accounts supply about an eighth of sales. A foreign weather service accounts for more than 10% of revenue. Customers the US Department of Defense, the US National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Indian Institute of Science.

Financial Performance

After rising to about $725 million in sales in 2015, Cray's sales declined in 2016 and again in 2017.

In 2017, sales fell about 38% to $392 million from 2016. The company's product sales were down 50% (about $250 million less than in 2016), which the company blamed on a slowdown in the high end of the supercomputing market, as well as the timing of contracts and deliveries. Some sales were delayed because customers were not ready for installation. Service revenue bumped 9% higher from maintenance for the company's installed base of systems.

The lower sales drove the Cray to a loss of about $134 million in 2017, which followed a $10 million profit in 2016. Contributing to the loss was a higher tax payment caused, in past, because of the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Cray's cash fell to $137 million in 2017 from about $223 million in 2016. The company had negative operating cash flow in 2017 because of an inventory increase for future deliveries.

Strategy

Cray sees an uptick in governments around the world buying its systems after a slowdown it attributed to changes in administrations. In particular, the company looks for increased business from the US, the UK, and Europe. In international sales, the company has sold systems to the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Japan Meteorological Agency. Cray also expects increased business from the oil and gas industry, one of its main commercial sectors, as energy prices rise.

With commercial accounts generating just more than 10% of its revenue, Cary has room to grow. The company plans to make its systems more suited for corporate computing needs, as well as improve their ease of use. The company also works with partners to develop new ways to access Cray systems through public clouds.

Cray also is working to bring the power of its supercomputing systems to Big Data through analytics, performance storage, and artificial intelligence and deep learning.

The company conducted a restructuring program in 2017 to align its work force with its strategies. Cray cut about 190 jobs and took an $8.5 million charge.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 Cray acquired the ClusterStor business of Seagate and partnered with Seagate to develop products for the storage system. The ClusterStor products expand Cray's storage business, which the company intends to use to deepen its relationships with existing customers and attract new ones. Cray was Seagate's largest OEM customer for ClusterStor products.

Company Background

Cray Research was founded by Seymour R. Cray, the "father of supercomputing," in the 1970s. Over about 20 years, the company introduced a series of ground-breaking supercomputing systems. Cray Research, however, went bankrupt in 1995. Silicon Graphics bought Cray Research's assets and sold them to Tera Computer in 2000 and Tera changed its name to Cray Inc.

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Cray Inc.

901 5th Ave Ste 1000
Seattle, WA 98164-2058
Phone: 1 (206) 701-2000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CRAY
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ
  • President and CEO: Peter J. Ungaro
  • VP Field Operations: Charles A. Morreale
  • President and CEO: Peter J. Ungaro
  • 2017 Employees: 1,273

Major Office Locations

  • Seattle, WA

Other Locations

  • Madison, AL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Austin, TX
  • Arlington, VA
  • Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Taipei City, Taiwan
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