TechCrunch  Jul 3  Comment 
When we last met UDOO, the team was building a powerful Raspberry Pi-based DIY board with a bunch of impressive features, including more ports and a better processor. Now the team behind the first units has released the UDOO BOLT, a DIY board that...
TechCrunch  Oct 24  Comment 
 DVR maker TiVo today officially confirmed the launch of its new DVR, the TiVo BOLT VOX, and its smaller counterpart, the TiVo Mini Vox, following yesterday’s leak. As had been reported, the biggest change is that these are the first TiVo DVRs...
TechCrunch  Oct 23  Comment 
 TiVo is nearing the launch of a new product in its BOLT family of DVRs, which can either be swapped in place of your cable company’s DVR, or, in the case of the original BOLT, be used by cord cutters who want a way to record over-the-air...
Insurance Journal  Sep 5  Comment 
BOLT Solutions Inc., a New York-headquartered provider of an online distribution and customer support platform for the property and casualty insurance industry, has hired Tom Temple as managing director of business development. In this role,...
Automotive World  Oct 10  Comment 
A driver’s lounge system that offers long-haul drivers maximum living space and versatility is now available as a third-party option for select Western Star 5700XE sleeper configurations. Western Star Trucks has partnered with BOLT Custom Trucks...
Forbes  Sep 12  Comment 
Rumors of TiVo's demise have been greatly exaggerated as the company unveils an updated, black version of the BOLT, the BOLT+, for sale this Thursday.
MarketWatch  Mar 9  Comment 
Biolight Life Sciences , a global ophthalmology company, said Wednesday that it is raising the number of common shares in its initial public offering to 2.1 million from 1.8 million shares. The company said it is also offering warrants to buy up...
Forbes  Dec 16  Comment 
TiVo has announced Hulu and WWE streaming support for the TiVo BOLT will arrive on boxes this week.
Benzinga  Dec 3  Comment 
BOLT® Solutions, Inc. (www.boltinc.com), provider of the leading online distribution and customer support platform to the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry, today announced the addition of Kathleen Garlasco to the executive...
OilVoice  Oct 12  Comment 
LGO is today pleased to announce that the Company has completed the acquisition of a 25 stake in Beach Oilfield Limited with which LGO already holds an agreement to acquire the deep petroleum rights


Bolt Technology (NASDAQ:BOLT) is an oilfield services equipment producer that makes seismic exploration air guns which are used to model oil and natural gas deposits beneath the ocean's floor. This technology is used to search for oil while minimizing the amount of costly exploration wells that are drilled.[1]The company has 3 divisions which all either make marine air guns or the parts and accessories for the guns. These products are then sold in large batches to exploration companies who tow the guns in large arrays behind ships equipped with the software to interpret the results. The company's sales are tied to oil prices since high prices induce increased exploration and the expansion of existing exploration fleets. Conversely, low oil prices will decrease demand for Bolt's products. The company earned $49 million in revenue and $10.5 million in net income in 2009.[2]

Company Overview

Bolt Technology manufactures and sells equipment to oilfield service companies through its three operating units: Bolt, A-G Geophysical Products (AG), and Real Time Systems (RTS).[3] All three businesses sell equipment that is used in marine oil exploration operations. The process of searching for submerged oil is called marine seismic exploration. This process gathers data about the ocean's bottom by sending acoustic waves at the ocean floor and then using a computer to interpret the waves as they bounce back to the ship. This information can be used to model the earth below the ocean, and the resulting analysis is an important part of the decision to drill oil wells. Overall, seismic exploration has three goals:

  • Identifying new areas where the ocean floor is good for drilling for oil and gas.
  • Determining the size and structure of oil and gas fields that have already been discovered.
  • Optimizing development and production of oil and gas reserves.

Since drilling an exploration well is costly, this decision is critical. Each of Bolt Technologies operating units sell different parts of this system.

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AG Geophysical

AG manufactures and sells sophisticated cables, connectors, and sound reception equipment for use with seismic air guns. The receptors, called hydrophones, absorb the acoustic signals sent by the air guns and transmit them through the cables back to the ship for analysis. All of this equipment can be used with Bolt's products or with seismic equipment from other manufacturers.

Real Time Services

RTS, which was aquired by Bolt, manufactures the controllers and synchronizers for marine air guns. This equipment allows an exploration ship to tow as many 96 air guns behind the ship and to coordinate the activity of the array of guns. This equipment is also general and can also be used with Bolt air guns and guns from other manufacturers.

Business Growth

FY 2009 (ended June 30, 2009)[2]

  • Net sales fell 21% to $49 million.
  • Net income fell 28% to $10.5 million.

Trends and Forces

Oil Prices Drive Demand for Exploration Equipment

Increasing oil prices is partially due to steady demand growth from emerging markets that is outpacing supply growth, but other factors such as excessive speculation have also played a role. This highly volatile commodity has a large impact on Bolt's future sales, and as oil prices retreat near term oil exploration and extraction investments will be reconsidered.

Capital Structure

One unusual financial advantage that Bolt has in the current credit crunch is a capital structure that relies entirely on equity financing. A company's capital structure is the way in which it finances, or pays for, the continued growth of the business. There are two main ways to do this, equity and debt financing. A company financed through equity, like Bolt, sells shares of the company (stock) to the public. A firm financed with debt, or loans, can have higher returns on its equity, since it is borrowing more money to expand. Continued tightening in credit standards since the credit crunch, however, have driven up the price of borrowing for some companies and completely blocked other firms from borrowing at all. Bolt is in a good situation during this crisis since it does not rely on debt at all, which is unusual. The lack of credit use will provide an advantage to Bolt as other firms might run out of money for operations or expansion.

One caveat to this is that potential sales could be reduced if buyers also have a hard time finding money to borrow, since sales are typically large in this industry and buyers must use debt to finance purchases. Furthermore, if Bolt needs more money and can't find creditors, it will have to issue more common stock which will dilute expected earnings for current shares outstanding and the lower the price.


Bolt has three major competitors; one is another specialty manufacturer (ION) and the other two are slightly larger companies with a range of operating units that include manufacturing survey equipment (Sercel) and exploration services (Schlumberger ). Bolt is smaller than both companies, but its innovative products and focused business makes it competitive.

  • ION Geophysical Corporation (IO) is a manufacturer of marine seismic exploration equipment and accessories similar to Bolt. The company competes closely with Bolt in the market for cables and connectors. ION also manufactures air guns that are similar to Bolt's, but their product lineup is not as sophisticated.
  • Sercel (part of Compagnie Generale de Geophysique-Veritas (CGV) ) is a French company that also has a number of business in the oilfield services industry. In addition to manufacturing survey equipment like Bolt, they also have a data processing business and an onshore seismic exploration business. According to the company's annual report, they are looking to expand their information processing business.
  • WesternGeco, a unit of Schlumberger N.V. (SLB) is a larger company that provides a wider range of services, including seismic data, exploration analysis, and oil reservoir monitoring. WesternGeco is a competitor in the sense that it is involved in the seismic imaging sector of the oilfield services industry.


  1. BOLT 2009 10-K "Business" pg. 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 BOLT 2009 10-K "Selected Financial Data" pg. 13
  3. BOLT 2009 10-K "Segment Financial Information" pg. 2-3
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