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Metso CP - ADS recently announced the acquisition of U.S-based software company ExperTune Inc for an undisclosed sum. The recent acquisition is expected to expand its offerings in the area of plant optimization for process industries.

The acquisition of ExperTune is a strategic decision by Metso as it would help expand its services business globally. Metso’s services business has grown strongly over the last decade. In 2011, the services share of the company's total income was 45%.

The products of ExperTune are globally used as software tools to evaluate and examine the performance of industrial processes. These products also aid in understanding and identifying the associated maintenance and opportunities for improvement.

ExperTune primarily designs pre-packaged industrial software that maximizes productivity and efficiency and reduces waste in the process industries. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ExperTune’s products include PlantTriage, ProcessApex and PID Loop Optimizer.

The acquisition of ExperTune broadens Metso’s capabilities to provide business enhancing services to customers worldwide. ExperTune will be integrated into Metso’s Automation segment’s Services business. However, its products will be sold as stand-alone solutions that can be used in any automation system environment, primarily targeted to optimize plant performance.

The combined entity will be more equipped to fully solve the customer needs and challenges in areas such as reducing raw material consumption, efficient energy usage, product variability and environmental impact.

Metso Automation primarily designs, develops and supplies both process automation and field solutions for automation and information management in selected process industries. This segment mainly covers three principal areas of process automation:

(1) automation and information management application networks and systems and life cycle services (2) flow control solutions, automated and manual control valves and (3) process measurement solutions and analyzers.

Metso, currently has a short term Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy). One of the company’s peers, Altra Holdings Inc. (AIMC - Snapshot Report) also has a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) following its strong third-quarter 2012 results that included anearnings surprise of 9.7%.

Another peer of Metso, Graco Inc. (GGG - Snapshot Report) has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) following its strong third quarter 2012 results that reflected year over year earnings growth of 6.6%. 

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