Symbol Technologies, Inc. (SBL)
Working from Baird’s list, October 2005, p. 10 Symbol has the highest net sales in the Wireless Infrasturcture category. Symbol’s RFID division, one of four product divisions, produces a variety of RFID tags and inlays, RFID wireless reader infrastructure, and mobile RFID readers. The product division accounts for about 80% of the company’s revenue; the remaining 20% comes from services.
Key Executives Salvatore Iannuzzi - CEO (January 2006) and Director Timothy J. Yates Sr. V.P., C.F.O. Arthur J. O’Donnell - Sr. V.P., Global Services., Chief Quality Officer James M Langrock – VP, Chief Accounting Officer, Corporate Controller Robert J. Chrenc Chairman,
Total Revenue(# in thousands)2005: $1,765,631; 2004:$1,732,123: 2003: $1,530,278. Earnings Before Interest And Taxes: 2005: $44,911; 2004: $43,801; 2003: $14,491 Net Income: 2005: $32,247 2004: $81,847; 2003:$3,295
RFID product revenue, 2005:$35,837; 2004: $5,610
Symbol was an early leader in RFIDs and is still a market leader (41% of the RFID market, Datamonitor, p.17)) and major supplier (Nobel, 2006). The company has had some negatives in the last few years, but its merger with Motorola supports optimism for continuing impact in the RFID industry. Between 1998 and 2002 Symbol inflated revenue reports by 230 million to meet expectations of analysts. For their accounting irregularities they were required by the SEC to pay out $37 million to investors and $3million to the US Postal Inspection Service Consumer Fraud Fund. Continuing discrepancies in 2004 kept their financial integrity in question. Symbol’s acquisition of Matrics, Inc. in 2004 included liability in a suit between Matrics and Intermec over alleged infringement on Intermec’s RFID patents. Symbol sued Intermec for Intermec infringement on Symbol patents, and Intermec countersued. An agreement to license technology from each other was part of the settlement. Intermec requested dismissal of both suits it had generated. However, on the positive side, the acquisition resulted in a $30,000 increase in Symbol’s RFID revenue in 2005 as compared with 2004 (Datamonitor). In 2004 Symbol also formed strategic relationships with Cingular, Nextel, Zebra Tech and IBM to broaden their mobility solutions. Pending merger with Motorola could “pump life in to the struggling RFID market” according to Industry Week (November 2006). The high tag prices seem to be the cause of the slow down, so the Motorola –Symbol strategy is to integrate RFID technology and cellular networks to allow external tracking. Other ideas include embedding readers and scanners into hand held devices so that consumers can scan codes from advertisements, then go to the internet for more information, developing RFID tags for untapped markets and producing readers that can read at greater distances.
n.a. (November 2006). Symbol buyout could hasten RFID adoption, Industry Week, Retrieved November 23 from www.INDUSTRYWEEK.COM.
n.a. (update, June 17, 2006). Symbol Technologies, Inc. MarketLine Business Information Center, Retrieved October 23, 2006 from Datamonitor.
Lawson, S. (September 12, 2005). Syymbol, Intermec settle most patent disputes over RFID, ComputerWorld, retrieved November 20, 2006 from www.computerworld.com.
SBL Retrieved November 20 from http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=SBL&annual