Cobra Electronics' citizens band radios and radar detectors are good buddies when you're on the road. Its principal namesake division markets Cobra-branded CB and marine radios, two-way radios, radar detectors, power inverters, jump-starters, and GPS navigation systems. It serves professional drivers. The firm's PPL unit peddles personal navigation systems and speed camera location detectors under the Snooper name. Cobra Electronics also manages the AURA database of photo-enforcement locations (including speed camera and red-light detector positions) in North America and Europe. Cobra's products are sold in the US, Canada, and Europe through consumer electronics stores, discount retailers, and truck stops.
Illinois-based Cobra maintains offices and warehouses in its home state, as well as overseas in Hong Kong, Ireland, Belgium, and the UK.
Nearly 90% of Cobra's sales come from its namesake business segment; the firm's Performance Products Limited segment accounts for more than 10% of sales.
Sales and Marketing
Cobra offers its products and services through retailers and distributors. It launched a new Cobra.com website in 2013 to provide for an improved shopping experience and leverage its omni-channel sales and marketing initiatives.
Suppliers are located in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea.
The company has spent less on advertising in recent years. Cobra logged $6.4 million in ad expenses in 2013, down from $6.9 million in 2012 and $7.7 million in 2011.
Cobra logged $111.2 million in sales in fiscal 2013, a 6% drop vs. 2012. Contributing to the decrease were lower sales of truck navigation, CB radios, inverters, and detectors while Cobra generated higher sales of two-way radios and marine products. The company also introduced its Dash Cam products during the reporting period.
The electronics maker posted a $1.1 million loss in 2013 as compared to a profit of $3.2 million the year earlier, thanks to lower sales and an increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses. Following a 2012 cash flow of $1.5 million, Cobra reported a $3.5 million cash flow from operations in 2013.
On the heels of gains in South America, where the company has seen its business grow, Cobra in 2014 broke ground on a new distribution facility in China and is expanding its European distribution.
Cobra also introduces new products as a way to boost its bottom line. It has launched Cobra iRadar, a speed and red-light camera detector that also allows users to control its settings via smartphones, and Cobra PhoneLynx, a system that enables users to make and receive mobile phone calls from phones in any home or small office. Cobra has also rolled out a GPS system with 5-inch screen targeted to truck drivers.
Cobra is a big name at national retailers. The electronics maker was named as Wal-Mart's exclusive supplier of two-way radios in 2009. It also expanded its product selection for Best Buy and penned a distribution deal with Advance Auto Parts.
The company was founded in 1961 by chairman emeritus Carl Korn.