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Trimble Navigation Ltd. (TRMB - Analyst Report), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of positioning, surveying and machine control products, recently acquired the assets of the privately-held IQ Irrigation based in Christchurch, New Zealand. The financial details of the acquisition, expected to be closed by the end of Aug 2013, were kept confidential.
IQ Irrigation, jointly owned by Neil Douglas, Ian Jenson and Mark Whalley, provides hardware and software solutions to manage irrigation systems, enabling farmers to best optimize the water usage.
The acquisition, effective immediately, will extend Trimble’s capabilities in serving farmers in the agriculture business. IQ Irrigation’s hydrology expertise and strong rainfall technology, along with Trimble’s new Connected Farm online dashboard will help farmers to better monitor the status of their pivot or linear irrigators. This will enable farmers to save time and increase efficiency, convenience and productivity of their crop.
Trimble’s Connected Farm is an electronic dashboard on the computer that help farmers to manage operations by viewing key information such as weather forecasting, rainfall totals, commodity prices, field operation maps and fleet locations. Farmers will be able to gather real time information on the status of the irrigator and a visual simulation of the current water consumption and irrigation patterns
Upon the completion of the deal, irrigation pivot data will likely be available on the Connected Farm dashboard in New Zealand and the United States in the fourth quarter of 2013 and first half of 2014, respectively.
Trimble has an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy. In 2012, Trimble completed half a dozen acquisitions serving various business models. Earlier this year, Trimble acquired a 3-D modeling software platform from the Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG - Analyst Report). Recently, Trimble acquired the New Zealand-based Actronic Holdings Limited, a weighing solution company. The company’s acquisitions have helped it to enhance its product line and boost its top-line growth.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2013, Trimble earned revenues of $576.3 million. Revenues were up 3.6% sequentially and 11.3% year over year and within the guided range of $575 million–$580 million in the quarter. Improvement in the U.S. commercial and residential construction markets helped Trimble’s business in the last quarter. Trimble’s acquisitions are also helping it to build a strong product portfolio and position itself in markets with better growth prospects.
Currently, Trimble has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that are performing well at current levels include SanDisk (SNDK - Analyst Report), Syntel Inc. (SYNT - Snapshot Report) and Silicom Ltd. (SILC), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).