Trimble Buys Trade Service

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Trimble Navigation Ltd. (TRMB), an original equipment manufacturer (:OEM) of positioning, surveying and machine control products, has completed its acquisition of Trade Service Company, LLC from GF Capital Private Equity Fund, LP for an undisclosed sum.

San Diego, Calif.-based Trade Service is a privately-held company that started its journey in 1931. It provides product and price information to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, industrial, automotive and office products industries. It supplies to over 21,000 manufacturers, distributors, contractors and government agencies.

Upon the completion of the deal, Trade Service’s real-time specification and pricing information solutions will be added to Trimble’s buildings product line and will come under Trimble's Engineering and Construction segment (E&C) segment.

The acquisition will enable Trimble to provide real-time specification and pricing solutions to construction companies.

Trimble has an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy. In 2012 itself, Trimble completed half a dozen acquisitions serving various business models. Earlier this year, Trimble acquired a 3-D modeling software platform from Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG). The company’s acquisitions have helped it to build a desired portfolio, enhance its product line and boost its top line.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Trimble earned revenues of $556.1 million. Revenues were up 7.9% sequentially and 10.7% year over year, missing the guided range of $575–$580 million in the quarter. Strengthening in the U.S. commercial and residential construction markets helped Trimble’s business in the last quarter. Trimble has also made a number of acquisitions in the recent months, which are helping it to build a strong product portfolio and position itself in markets with better growth prospects.

Currently, Trimble has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks that are worth considering include Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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