Trimble Acquires C3

Zacks

Trimble Navigation Ltd. (TRMB), an original equipment manufacturer of positioning, surveying and machine control products, recently acquired the assets of the privately-held C3 Consulting LLC of Madison, Wisconsin. The financial details of the acquisition have been kept confidential.

C3 is an agricultural software firm engaged in promoting sustainable farming methods by combining crop information with detailed soil data, enabling better yield, quality and productivity of the crop.  

The acquisition, effective immediately, will extend Trimble’s capabilities in serving the agriculture sector. C3’s expertise in crop and soil data, along with Trimble’s new Connected Farm online dashboard will help farmers to better monitor the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. The clients will have a better idea of factors like root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth and severity, macro and micro nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity, and salt and toxicity concentrations.

This crucial knowledge will help the farmers save time while enhancing the yield, efficiency, convenience and productivity of the crop. Additionally, these solutions will reduce the use of chemical inputs leading to a nature-friendly environment.

Upon the completion of the deal, C3’s data and recommendations from their trusted advisor will be available on the Connected Farm dashboard.

Trimble’s Connected Farm is an electronic dashboard, accessible through Internet-enabled devices, that helps farmers to manage operations by viewing key information such as weather forecasting, rainfall totals, commodity prices, field operation maps and fleet locations.

The C3 Soil Information System (:SIS) solution is a set of tools for digital, 3-D mapping of soil characteristics and analyzing topographic properties to develop an effective strategy for improving crop output.

Trimble’s electronic dashboard along with C3’s SIS solution will be able to improve farming methods, enhancing Trimble’s agriculture business.

Trimble has an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy. In 2012, Trimble completed half a dozen acquisitions serving various business models. Earlier this year, Trimble acquired a 3-D modeling software platform from the Internet search giant Google Inc. Recently, Trimble acquired the New Zealand-based Actronic Holdings Limited, a weighing solution company. In August, Trimble acquired IQ Irrigation which provides hardware and software solutions to manage irrigation systems, thus enhancing the company’s capabilities in the agriculture business.

The company’s acquisitions have helped it to enhance its product line and boost its top-line growth.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, Trimble earned revenues of $556.5 million. Revenues were down 3.4% sequentially and at the lower end of the guided range of $555 million–$565 million, due to inconsistent market conditions and weak investments as a result of increased caution regarding government purchases in the U.S.

Currently, Trimble has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-ranked stocks that are performing well at current levels include Control4 Corp (CTRL), Daktronics Inc. (DAKT) and Garmin Ltd. (GRMN). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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