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$ESIO said it received a multi-unit order for its GemStone flex PCB laser processing system from a manufacturer of flexible circuit boards. Introduced in 2015, the GemStone system relies on $ESIO's internally-developed laser, featuring GemPulse technology to deliver precise laser pulses demanded by leading-edge applications.
$NOC continues to expect that capital expenditures will remain elevated in 2018 and 2019 before starting to return to a new normal that reflects a larger business. For 2018, the company does have additional CapEx as well as $100-150MM in costs from incremental interest and transaction cost related to its pending acquisition of $OA.
For 2018, $NOC expects Technology Services sales to be in the mid $4Bil range, with an operating margin rate of about 10%. Lower 2018 revenue is primarily due to expected declines in the KC-10 and JRDC programs. Lower revenue for these programs is being partially offset by growth in other programs.
For 2018, $NOC expects Mission Systems sales to grow to the mid to high $11Bil range with an operating margin of about 13%. Primary revenue growth drivers include continued ramp-up on combat avionics and communications programs, including F-35 sensors, SABR radar, and infrared countermeasures.
For 2018, $NOC expect Aerospace Systems to grow at top line at a high single-digit rate to the high $12Bil range. Growth in restricted activities will continue to be a major driver of revenue growth, along with continued ramp-up on the F-35 program. The company expects 2018 operating margin at Aerospace Systems to be in the low to mid 10% range.
$NOC currently expect the $OA transaction to close in 1H of this year. In late November, $OA shareholders overwhelmingly approved the terms of the transaction. The FTC is reviewing the proposed transaction in the U.S. in consultation with the DoD and $NOC notified the European Commission on Jan. 18 under the simplified procedure notice.
For 2018, $NOC expects sales of about $27Bil and EPS of $15.00-15.25. The company predicts segment operating margin in low-mid 11% range and operating margin of about 12%. $NOC sees effective tax rate of about 19.5%, capital expenditures of about $1Bil and free cash flow in the range of $2.0-2.3Bil.
$NOC's Aerospace Systems sales for 4Q17 rose 5% year-over-year, due to growth in Manned Aircraft and Autonomous Systems. Mission Systems sales grew 6%, on higher volume for Sensors and Processing and Advanced Capabilities programs. Technology Services sales slid 1% on lower volume for System Modernization and Services and Advanced Defense Services.
$NOC's operating income for 4Q17 decreased to $767MM from $831MM last year. The decline is primarily due to higher transaction costs from pending acquisition of $OA and deferred state tax expense from discretionary pension contribution. It also includes changes in contract mix at Aerospace Systems and Mission Systems.
$NOC reported a drop in 4Q17 earnings due to higher tax expenses from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enactment and $500MM discretionary pre-tax pension contribution related to the write-down of deferred tax assets. Net income fell to $178MM or $1.01 per share from $525MM or $2.96 per share last year. Sales rose 4% to $6.6Bil. Adjusted EPS was $2.82.
$ACN has opened a new innovation hub in Boston’s Back Bay. The company plans to add 400 highly skilled technology jobs in Boston by the end of 2020, and to expand its US apprenticeship program to Boston. The Boston hub, the second of 10 new innovation hubs Accenture had announced last year, is designed for collaboration and ideation.
Accenture Ventures, a unit of professional services provider $ACN, has forged an ecosystem partnership with Microsoft Accelerator, a program designed for empowering start-ups, to strengthen the start-up ecosystem in India. Under the partnership, the companies will host various start-up events in India to engage with the country’s start-up network.
Expanding its digital services portfolio further, $ACN subsidiary Accenture Interactive signed an agreement to acquire German firm Mackevision, which provides immersive product content. The financial terms of the deal are not known. The buyout will help Accenture accelerate its ability to envision, create and operate XR solutions for its clients.
$ACN has appointed Eva Sage-Gavin as Senior Managing Director for Talent and Organization practice, effective immediately. She has held leadership positions at Gap, PepsiCo and Xerox. Most recently, Sage-Gavin served Boston Consulting Group as Senior Advisor and was a member of its CEO Advisory practice.
Professional services company $ACN has completed the acquisition of digital commerce agency Altima, expanding the capabilities of Accenture Interactive in various key markets including France, where Altima is headquartered. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
$ACN has signed a five-year agreement with automotive supplier Faureica, under which the companies will co-invest and work together to enhance innovation for mobility services. The focus areas of the partnership will be cognitive technologies to reinvent the on-board user experience and services to enhance health and wellness.
$ACN plans to return about $4.3Bil to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in FY18, and expects to reduce outstanding shares by 1%. With more acquisitions in the pipeline, Accenture expects FY18 to witness a 2.5-3% inorganic revenue contribution. According to the company, the US tax legislation will have minimal impact on its finances.