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FLIR Systems Inc. (FLIR - Analyst Report) released its third-quarter 2012 results before the market opened today, reporting earnings from continuing operations of 37 cents; above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents but below the prior-year earnings of 40 cents. 

Total Revenue

Total revenue was $332.2 million, a decrease of 11% year over year. Total backlog at the end of September 30, 2012, however, was about $565 million, up $67 million during the quarter.

Divisional Revenue 

Commercial Systems division’s revenue was $181.2 million in the quarter, down 8% year over year. Within the Commercial Systems division, the Thermal Vision and Measurement segment revenue decreased by 7% to $149.5 million. Commercial Systems' Raymarine segment revenue was $31.7 million, down 11% year over year.

Government Systems division’s revenue came in at $151 million in the quarter, down 14% year over year. The division was affected by a difficult market environment. Within the division, the Surveillance segment revenue declined 17% to $115.9 million. Detection segment revenue was $15.4 million, down 27% while Integrated Systems segment revenue was $19.7 million, up 40%.

Income and Expenses        

Operating income for the quarter was $74.2 million compared with $85.4 million in the prior-year period. Selling and general expense was $69.5 million compared with $81.3 million whereas research and development expense was $29.6 million compared with $35.2 million.

Balance Sheet

Cash and Cash equivalents were $424.5 million at the end of the quarter with long-term debt of $248.2 million and shareholders’ equity of $1.6 billion.

Cash flow from operations amounted to $46.4 million during the quarter. The company repurchased 1.9 million shares for $19.96 per share.

Dividend

With its earnings results, the company also declared a dividend of 7 cents per share. The dividend is payable on December 7, 2012, to shareholders of record as of November 19, 2012.

Outlook                                               

FLIR Systems expects earnings per share for 2012 to be in the range of $1.42 to $1.47 compared to its prior guidance of $1.40 to $1.50. Total revenue is expected to be in the range of $1.40 billion to $1.45 billion, compared to the prior guidance of $1.40 billion to $1.45 billion.

Moving ahead, the company believes its planned acquisition of Lorex Technology will be accretive to its 2013 earnings. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2012.

FLIR Systems Inc. is a leader in design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging systems. Its products are used in a wide variety of applications in commercial, industrial and government markets, internationally as well as domestically. It offers a wide variety of system configurations to suit specific customer requirements.

The company’s business is organized into three divisions: Government Systems, Commercial Vision Systems and Thermography Products. Major competitors of FLIR Systems are L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL - Analyst Report) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT - Analyst Report).

We continue to maintain an Underperform rating on FLIR System for the long term. The company has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold recommendation) over the next one-to-three months.

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