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 provides maintenance and support services, and it sells its own and third-party data storage products primarily from NetApp and DataDirect Networks. Cray's largest customer is the US government, which accounts for about two-thirds of sales. Cray also targets academic institutions and industrial companies. Around 58% of sales come from customers in the US.
All of its engineering and manufacturing facilities are in the US (in California and Wisconsin), though the company uses subcontractors to produce the majority of its components. All of its high-performance computers are built to order.
Cray has supercomputers installed at more than 100 sites worldwide. Its supercomputers run on the company's Cray Linux Environment (CLE) operating system. Cray is one of the only companies left that exclusively makes supercomputers. Competitors such as IBM also custom-design high-performance models for customers.
By segment, the company's supercomputing unit accounts for 71% of revenue. The unit for storage and data management and the unit for maintenance and support each generated 13% of revenue with 3% of revenue coming from engineering services.
Sales and Marketing
Cray has a direct sales force that operates from sales and service facilities in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. International sales were 42% of Cray's sales in 2014, an increase of 42% from 2013.
Users of Cray computers include the US Department of Defense, the University of Hawaii, the US National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Indian Institute of Science.
With supercomputer price tags often at $10 million and up (but you can get one for about $500,000), the company's annual results can fluctuate. In 2014 sales rose about 7% to $561 million, from the $525 million in 2013. International sales, which grew at a 42% clip, made up for a 9% decline in US sales.
Cray's net income charged 93% higher on the higher revenue and lower operating costs. Cash flow from operations slipped to $58 million in 2014 from 2013, driven by a rise in inventory for systems that it expected to deliver in 2015.
Cray released systems for the high-end of its line in 2014, aimed at power-hungry research and design projects. In 2015, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), a global oil-and-gas company, bought an XC40 supercomputer and one of the company's Sonexion 2000 storage systems. The system for PGS runs at five petaflop and is one of the largest systems Cray has delivered to a commercial customer, and among the largest supercomputers deployed in the commercial sector. Cray in 2014 opened a manufacturing center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Formerly Tera Computer, the company bought Cray Research from Silicon Graphics and changed its name to Cray in 2000. In 2004 Cray acquired Canadian supercomputer developer OctigaBay Systems, which became Cray Canada. The company's name comes from the late Seymour R. Cray, the "father of supercomputing," although Mr. Cray never worked for Cray Inc.