Esterline Technologies has a market cap of $1.96 billion; its shares were traded at around $64.32 with a P/E ratio of 12.8 and P/S ratio of 1. Esterline Technologies had an annual average earning growth of 12.2% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Esterline Technologies the business predictability rank of 4.5-star.
Highlight of Business Operations:Sensors & Systems segment gross margin was 34.8% and 28.3% for fiscal 2012 and 2011, respectively. Segment gross profit was $244.6 million and $117.4 million for fiscal 2012 and 2011, respectively. Approximately 10% of the increase in gross profit reflected strong demand for power systems for commercial aviation applications. Approximately 85% of the increase in gross profit was due to incremental gross profit from the Souriau acquisition. Souriaus gross profit was impacted by a $12 million charge in the first fiscal quarter of 2012 due to recording Souriaus acquired inventory at its fair value. The prior-year period included a $27.9 million inventory fair value adjustment, recognized principally in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011.
The $51.9 million, or 6.6% increase, in Avionics & Controls mainly reflected increased sales volumes of avionics systems of $25 million, control systems of $25 million, and communication systems of $6 million, mostly offset by decreased sales volumes of interface technologies systems. The increase in avionics systems principally reflected strong sales volumes of avionics products of $18.2 million. The increase in control systems reflected strong OEM and after-market sales and a $4.4 million retroactive price settlement due to product scope changes. The first six months of fiscal 2011 benefited from higher demand for after-market spares due to restocking of depleted inventory by our customers. During the second six months, demand levels for spares declined and more closely reflected the underlying activity of the flying fleet. The increased sales of communication systems principally reflected $37.6 million in incremental sales from the Eclipse acquisition completed in the first fiscal quarter of 2011, partially offset by decreased sales of hearing protection headset devices due to uncertainty over the U.S. and U.K. military budgets.
Avionics & Controls segment gross margin was 38.8% and 35.7% for fiscal 2011 and 2010, respectively. Segment gross profit was $326.5 million compared to $282.4 million in the prior-year period. About 70% of the net $44 million increase in segment gross profit was due to strong sales volume and improved gross margin on avionics systems. This reflects increased sales volumes of aviation products and higher gross margin on cockpit integration sales. Nearly 35% of the increase in segment gross profit reflected robust sales of control systems due to strong aftermarket demand and the $4.4 million retroactive price increase referenced above. Control systems gross profit was impacted by a $2.0 million charge in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011 for engineering costs not probable of recovery from the customer. Eclipses gross profit was impacted by purchase accounting requirements resulting in a $5.4 million inventory fair value adjustment and recognizing the adjustment as expense over the first inventory turn; approximately $2.0 million was recorded as an expense in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011. Interface technologies gross profit decreased by approximately $3.5 million, principally due to lower demand and gross margin for interface devices for casino gaming applications.
Segment earnings (operating earnings excluding corporate expenses and other income or expense) for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 were $45.1 million, or 9.0% of sales, compared with $83.2 million, or 19.3% of sales, for the prior-year period. The $38.1 million decrease in earnings mainly reflected the operating loss of Souriau of $21.6 million, principally due to the fair value inventory adjustment noted above and partially offset by incremental earnings of Eclipse of $2.3 million. The decrease also reflected weaker operating earnings at our avionics systems and communications headset operations totaling $15 million and defense technologies countermeasure operations totaling $8 million, partially offset by stronger operating results at our engineered materials operations of $11 million. Avionics systems earnings in the fourth quarter were impacted by higher research and development expense and lower shipments of the integrated cockpit for the T-6B military trainer compared to the same periods last year. The decrease at communication systems and defense technologies was due to lower demand for headsets and flare countermeasures, respectively, which reflect slower than expected order releases from our defense customers. Engineered materials operations benefited from strong demand for elastomer and insulation materials for commercial aerospace. The decrease in segment earnings also reflected a $2.0 million write-off of engineering costs at controls systems, a $1.1 million inventory and accounts receivable write-off at advanced sensors, a $2.0 million write-off of accounts receivable and inventory at defense technologies, and a $0.6 million late delivery penalty at engineering materials, partially offset by a $3.2 million gain on the sale of an engineered materials facility.
We performed our annual impairment review for fiscal 2012 as of July 28, 2012, and our Step One analysis indicates that no impairment of goodwill or other indefinite-lived assets exists at any of our other reporting units. Our Souriau reporting units margin in passing the Step One analysis was about 5%, mainly reflecting lower market valuation assumptions in 2012. Management expects that continued improvements in operations will result in favorable actual results compared to our original plan. It is possible, however, that as a result of events or circumstances, we could conclude at a later date that goodwill of $328.0 million at Souriau may be considered impaired. We also may be required to record an earnings charge or incur unanticipated expenses if, due to a change in strategy or other reasons, we determined the value of other assets has been impaired. These other assets include trade names of $36.2 million and intangible assets of $186.6 million. Our CMC reporting units margin in passing the Step One analysis was about 10%, mainly reflecting lower forecast operating results due to the delay in booking new cockpit integration retrofits for military transport aircraft. Management expects that new opportunities for cockpit integration will result in favorable actual results compared to our original plan. It is possible, however, that as a result of events or circumstances, we could conclude at a later date that goodwill of $239.0 million at CMC may be considered impaired. We also may be required to record an earnings charge or incur unanticipated expenses if, due to a change in strategy or other reasons, we determined the value of other assets has been impaired. These other assets include trade names of $27.4 million and intangible assets of $73.9 million. Our Eclipse Electronic Systems, Inc. (Eclipse) reporting units margin in passing the Step One analysis was about 14%, mainly reflecting lower forecast operating results due to uncertainty over defense spending beginning in fiscal 2014. Management expects new opportunities for embedded communication intercept signal intelligence applications will result in more favorable results compared to our current forecast. It is possible, however, that as a result of events or circumstances, we could conclude at a later date that goodwill of $67.4 million at Eclipse may be considered impaired. We also may be required to record an earnings charge or incur unanticipated expenses if, due to a change in strategy or other reasons, we determined the value of intangible assets of up to $42.9 million has been impaired.
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