|Type||Public (NASDAQ: FLIR)
S&P 500 Component
|Industry||Imaging technology, defense, security, law enforcement|
|Key people||Andrew C. Teich, President, CEO|
|Products||Thermal imaging, infrared|
|Revenue||$1.4 billion USD|
|Employees||approx 3,500 (2013)|
FLIR Systems is the world's largest commercial company specializing in the design and production of thermal imaging and infrared cameras, components and imaging sensors. Based in Wilsonville, Oregon, United States, and founded in 1978, the company makes thermal cameras and components for a wide variety of commercial and government applications. FLIR is a component of the S&P 500 index with annual revenues in excess of USD 1.4 billion annually as of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Andrew C. Teich became FLIR's chief executive officer and president after the retirement of Earl Lewis. FLIR employs approximately 3,500 people worldwide.
FLIR took its name from the acronym for forward-looking infrared imaging systems. The company began in 1978 with airborne IR systems, and developed from 1978 to 2004 through product development and acquisitions of related companies. Originally based in Tigard, Oregon, the company relocated to Portland in the mid-1990s. FLIR teamed up with Hughes Aircraft Company in 1990, with Hughes taking part ownership of FLIR.
The company became publicly traded in a June 1993 IPO which raised $11.5 million for the company with shares offered at $12.50. In 1994, the company had grown to sales of $47 million annually. The next year, J. Kenneth Stringer III was named as president of the company. The company bought Sweden's Agema Infrared System in 1997, which doubled the size of the company. Acquisitions continued the following year when they purchased Inframetrics Inc. of Massachusetts for $48 million.
The company's president and chief executive officer Kenneth Stringer III was fired by the board of directors in May 2000 due to errors in the company's accounting practices. In September 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued FLIR over accounting irregularities. The next year three, executives at the company were charged with fraudulent accounting related to the SEC case that included claims of inflated sales. Sales at FLIR grew to $311 million in fiscal year 2003. In 2004, the company bought a building in Wilsonville from Mentor Graphics for $10.3 million for use as a new headquarters.
Beginning in 2005, the company began supplying BMW with imaging technology for use on the luxury automaker's vehicles. Also in 2005, FLIR was named the 55th fastest-growing company on CNNMoney's list of the 100 fastest-growing tech companies. In 2006, FLIR was listed as the 83rd best small business by Forbes. The previous year they were ranked 39th. That July, FLIR announced a seven-year contract worth up to $250 million with the United States Army for cameras to be installed on helicopters.
In March 2007, the company reported that it would restate its financial statements for the period from 1995 to 2005, primarily to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants. FLIR was also sued by investors over these same allegations.
The company purchased Extech Instruments Corp. in October 2007 for $40 million. The next month FLIR executed its first stock split. FLIR made another acquisition in April 2008 when it purchased Ifara Tecnologias of Spain for about $11 million. For the 2008 fiscal year, the company recorded $1.1 billion in sales, a record for the company. On January 1, 2009, FLIR was added to the S&P 500 stock index, replacing National City Corporation. FLIR was named as the Northwest's top company by the Seattle Times in 2009, the third time the company was at the top (2002 and 2003). It sold Extech Data Systems, a division of Extech which made portable printers, in December 2009, and bought the security hardware maker Directed Perception that month for $20 million. FLIR continued to grow via acquisitions when it purchased bankrupt Raymarine in May 2010 for $180 million.
Headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon, the company also has manufacturing facilities in Portland, Goleta (California), North Billerica (a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts), Bozeman (Montana), Täby (Sweden) and West Malling (UK). Worldwide, FLIR employs in excess of 1,900 people, with more than 1,200 located in the United States. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008, FLIR had net profits of $203.7 million on revenues of $1.077 billion. Earl R. Lewis has been the president, CEO and chairman of the company since 2000. The company operates three divisions; one for government business (Government Systems), one for commercial vision customers (Commercial Vision Systems, or CVS) and one for thermography (Thermography). With $569 million in annual revenue, Government Systems is the largest of the three.
The Thermography division focuses more on analytical equipment that has uses in both the industrial and commercial fields. Example products include hand-held cameras used for home energy audits and veterinary thermal imaging. The commercial vision portion of the company manufactures products from infrared sensors to infrared news cameras for use on aircraft. Markets include private security and the automotive industry. FLIR's largest division, Government Systems, sells products to a variety of government entities with products ranging through weapon sights to perimeter surveillance systems to low light cameras to laser illuminators. Products developed not merely for military applications are also sold to commercial customers, sometimes through CVS.
- "2008 Annual Report". FLIR Systems. February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
- "Flir Systems Inc.". The Oregonian. July 12, 2006. pp. D1.
- "Management". Investor Relations. FLIR Systems. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Colby, Richard (January 14, 1994). "Thermal imaging heats up". The Oregonian. pp. C1.
- Francoeur, David. "About FLIR Systems". Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- "FLIR wins Hughes marketing deal". The Oregonian. August 7, 1990. p. C8.
- "The Bottom Line Briefcase: Chief financial officer advances to presidency of FLIR Systems". The Oregonian. April 4, 1995. p. B14.
- "The Oregonian 50". The Oregonian. June 5, 1994. pp. N14.
- "Briefcase: FLIR System Inc.'s first offering of stock brings in $11.5 million". The Oregonian. June 23, 1993. pp. D1.
- "Earnings: FLIR pays one-time charge of $52 million in quarter". The Oregonian. January 23, 1998. pp. B2.
- "The Bottom Line Briefcase; FLIR Systems, Inc. doubles in size with completion of acquisition". The Oregonian. December 3, 1997. pp. B1.
- Yim, Su-Jin (December 15, 1998). "Portland's FLIR Systems signs pact to acquire rival". The Oregonian. pp. B4.
- Woodward, Steve (May 25, 2000). "FLIR Systems removes top executive". The Oregonian. pp. B1.
- Manning, Jeff (April 5, 2008). "Prosecutors cleared in appeal of Flir case". The Oregonian. p. A1.
- Giegerich, Andy (April 9, 2004). "Companies stake claim to Fortune". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- "Dreams realized, dreams deferred". Portland Business Journal. December 24, 2004. p. 5. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Earnshaw, Aliza (March 2, 2007). "Flir on fast track after several years of strong growth". Portland Business Journal.
- "Business 2.0: 100 Fastest-growing tech companies 2005: Flir Systems". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- "Oregon firms named to Forbes best small companies list". Portland Business Journal. October 12, 2006.
- Pulaski, Alex (July 12, 2006). "$250 million deal lights up Flir's future". The Oregonian. p. D1.
- "Flir to restate financial reports". Portland Business Journal. March 1, 2007.
- Rogoway, Mike (December 23, 2006). "Flir investor files option-backdating suit". The Oregonian. p. D6.
- Rojas-Burke, Joe; Mike Rogoway (October 26, 2007). "Flir sales jump 43 percent on military orders". The Oregonian. p. B1.
- "FLIR Acquires Spanish Sensor Networking Firm". Defense Daily 238 (8). April 10, 2008.
- Anselmo, Joseph C. (June 1, 2009). "Top-Performing Companies; FLIR Systems". Aviation Week & Space Technology 170 (22): 52.
- "S&P Drops Merrill and two others". Section C; Column 1. The Wall Street Journal. December 24, 2008. p. 5.
- DeSilver, Drew (June 14, 2009). "No. 1 in NW100: Flir Systems is first three-time winner with thriving infrared-camera business". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Hunsberger, Brent (December 16, 2009). "Flir Systems sells printer unit to Datamax-O'Neil". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
- Hunsberger, Brent (December 28, 2009). "Flir Systems buys security-system supplier for $20 million". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
- Hunsberger, Brent (May 14, 2010). "Wilsonville-based Flir Systems outbids Garmin for bankrupt marine GPS maker". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Furchgott, Roy (September 24, 2008). "The Home Energy Audit Gets an Upgrade". The New York Times. p. 8.
- GoInfrared.com – FLIR Infrared Cameras and Thermal Imagers
- Google Finance: FLIR
- Forbes: Flir Systems