L-3 Expands Electro Optical Business with Acquisition of Kollmorgen

by: Matthew Potter
February 9, 2012

Category: Acquisitions, Business Line, Companies, Department of Defense, Earnings, Events, IT, L-3, logistics, production program, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

L-3 Communications (LLL) expanded its electro optical business by completing the acquisition of Kollmorgen from Danaher Corporation. The transaction closed for a price of about $210 million. Kollmorgan primarily makes optical systems for U.S. and other nation’s submarines.

L-3 already has a growing electro-optical sensor business and the addition of Kollmorgen will only add to that growth. In their most recent quarterly report the company reported earnings of $2.72 a share on net sales of $4 billion. This was an increase of earnings of twenty-eight cents over the previous year. Interestingly the Electronics Systems division of the company where Kollmorgen will fall had a decline in net sales of $110 million in 2011 primarily due to less demand for night vision products, power devices and the lack of revenue from technology licenses. The division did, though, sell $43 million more in Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) products.

Kollmorgen is estimated to add sales of $160 to $170 million and earnings of up to $30 million for L-3. This additional revenue will help offset any further drops in sales by the Electronics Systems part of the company.

The addition of the company to L-3 allows them to expand their overall market share of the EO/IR business. With the expected reductions in U.S. defense spending the more diverse product line and markets should help L-3 maintain its sales and earnings. For 2012 the company is predicting $14.4 to $14.6 billion in sales and earnings per share (EPS) of between $8.35 and $8.55. This compares to sales of $15.17 billion in 2011 and EPS of $8.77. Clearly L-3 is expecting some contraction in the defense business in the coming year. This estimate does not include Kollmorgen.

As will all of the defense industry L-3 will have to adjust to the changing market in 2012 and one way of doing this is through M&A. The addition of Kollmorgen not only adds revenue and earnings but also increases their exposure in the EO/IR market while reducing potential competitors. There should be more moves of this type by defense contractors as they make moves to cushion the changes in spending.

Photo from Daniel Garcia Neto’s flickr photostream

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