Benzinga  Aug 8  Comment 
The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Monday, August 7, 2017. United Technologies Offered Less Than $140/Share for Rockwell Collins The Rumor: United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) has approached...
Benzinga  Aug 8  Comment 
Mike Khouw spoke on CNBC's "Options Action" about unusually high options activity in Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL). He said that the call options volume was 6.5 times the average daily call options volume and the most active contract was the...
Motley Fool  Aug 7  Comment 
These stocks helped push markets higher. Find out why.
MarketWatch  Aug 7  Comment 
Shares of Rockwell Collins rally to a record Monday on news of a potential deal with United Technologies, which would create one of the largest suppliers to Boeing.
Wall Street Journal  Aug 7  Comment 
United Technologies has made an approach to acquire Rockwell Collins, but the two aerospace suppliers are still wrangling over the price of a takeover that would exceed $20 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Benzinga  Aug 7  Comment 
Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) spiked as much as 12 percent in weekend futures trading on reports of a potential sale to United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), a deal analysts deem “plausible” considering the bidder’s past...
Financial Times  Aug 4  Comment 
US industrial group sets sights on aircraft parts maker with $21bn market value
MarketWatch  Aug 4  Comment 
Shares of Rockwell Collins Inc. rose more than 7% late Friday afterBloomberg reported United Technologies Corp. was considering buying Rockwell Collins, citing people familiar with the matter. According to Bloomberg, it's not clear whether the...


Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) specializes in the production of radios, navigation systems and cockpit displays for military and commercial aircraft. Although the company's largest clients are government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense, the company generates the majority of its revenue and net income from sales to commercial clients. An important aspect of the company's business model is that it builds new applications for government clients and then adapts these same technologies for its commercial business. As a result, COL is able to take advantage of considerable R&D savings.

The performance of Rockwell Collins' government sector is largely dependent on the allocation of the U.S. defense budget. U.S. government sales comprised 43% of total COL sales, and COL continues to invest heavily in the research and development of new products in order to obtain future government contracts. COL's business is also susceptible to the cyclicality of the aerospace industry, and COL's commercial sector is tied to the fortunes of commercial airlines'. In order to capitalize on perceived market opportunities, COL has begun investing more in data systems for business jet customers (i.e. e-mail and broadcast TV), which it believes will generate higher returns on investment than in-flight entertainments systems for wide body jets.

Company Overview

Business Segments[1]

Rockwell Collins operates two main business segments.

  • Government Systems (57% of Revenue): this segment provides communication and electronic systems, products and services for airborne and surface applications to the U.S. Department of Defense, other government agencies, civil agencies, defense contractors and foreign ministries of defense. Some products and services include: communications systems to enable the transmission of information across the communications spectrum, military data link systems, navigation systems (GPS, handheld, and multi-mode receivers), cockpit display systems, integrated computer systems for future combat systems, and simulation and training systems.
  • Commercial Systems (43% of Revenue): The commercial systems division provides aviation electronics and services to businesses worldwide. Customers include original equipment manufacturers of commercial air transport, businesses and regional aircraft, and commercial airlines. Some products and services include: integrated avionics systems, integrated cabin electronics systems, communication systems, navigation systems, situational awareness and surveillance systems, and electro-mechanical systems.

Business Growth

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

  • Net sales fell 6.3% to $4.47 billion. A 9% increase in government system sales was offset by a 21% decrease in commercial systems sales.
  • Net income fell 12.4% to $594 million.

Trends and Forces

Overall health of the commercial airline industry impacts COL's business

Demand for Rockwell Collins' Commercial Systems products is largely determined by the commercial airlines industry. Although the Government Systems segment reduces COL's exposure to market volatility, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the air travel industry still causes periodic downturns and upturns in COL's business, and extraordinary circumstances like 9/11 or the SARS outbreak negatively impact both airlines and manufacturers like Rockwell Collins.

Rising fuel costs reduce airline purchasing power

Fuel costs account for a large part of airline operating budgets. Elevating fuel prices increase costs and reduce profits for airline companies, who may cut down on airplane orders to make ends meet. Furthermore, because a large portion of COL's commercial products are discretionary, airlines may prefer to pass on such goods when times are tough. At the same time, fuel pricing pressure has also increased demand for fuel-efficient aircrafts, a trend which Rockwell Collins hopes will generate additional work contracts as more fuel efficient airplanes are produced.

International conflicts and terrorism cause negative repercussions for COL

Uncertainty pertaining to business markets in the US and abroad caused by terrorist attacks and conflicts like the Iraq War adversely affect Rockwell Collins. In fact, international conflicts result in reduced aircraft build rates, decreased demand for upgrades, as well as smaller expenditures on discretionary products like in-flight entertainment. While the Government Systems division may benefit in such circumstances from increased government defense spending, foreign conflicts and terrorist attacks often increase the price of oil, and raise the cost of property and aviation products insurance, both of which raise COL's costs of production.

Dependence on U.S. government contracts expose Rockwell Collins to unique risks

36% of Rockwell Collins' sales are generated from U.S. government contracts. Indeed, Rockwell Collins' revenues are largely dependent on the US Department of Defense's budget spending, and on their ability to win new contracts. As a result, COL is exposed to a number of risks beyond their control. The U.S. government, for example, is able to terminate without prior notice partially completed government programs and contracts that were previously authorized. Additionally, changes in legislation or political policies regarding military developments often affect the availability of government business. The Department of Defense's budget varies according to perceived threat to the US, and reduced levels of global threat usually require less defense spending.


Rockwell Collins operates in an international landscape and faces domestic and foreign competition. Due to its high barriers of entry, the market for commercial cockpit controls is dominated by Rockwell Collins, Honeywell International (HON), and Thales. The in-flight entertainment industry is similarly concentrated, with COL and Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (MC) each controlling 50% of market share. Finally, COL's Government Systems division competes primarily with Raytheon Company (RTN).

To a lesser degree, Rockwell Collins also competes with the following companies: Panasonic, Harris (HRS), BAE Systems (BAESY), General Dynamics Corporation, L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL), Boeing Company (BA), and Northrop Grumman (NOC).[3]


  1. COL 2009 10-K "Description of Business by Segment" pg. 2-3
  2. COL 2009 10-K "Selected Financial Data" pg. 15
  3. COL 2009 10-K "Competition" pg. 4
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