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Motorola Expands Public Safety and Commercial Portfolio

Zacks Equity Research

Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI recently announced that it has acquired South Carolina-based Avtec, Inc. — a provider of dispatch solutions for public safety and commercial customers — for an undisclosed amount. Notably, the communications equipment maker has been a committed partner to the acquiree for years.

Avtec’s state-of-the-art solutions enable business-critical communications across diverse industries. It provides voice-over-Internet protocol dispatch services over land mobile radio and broadband networks. The buyout will likely expand Motorola’s public safety and commercial portfolios, while allowing it to offer an end-to-end platform for customers to communicate, coordinate resources and secure their facilities. Avtec’s CEO Michael Branning will retire and the company’s 140 employees will join Motorola.

The company has been reselling Avtec consoles to its MOTOTRBO customers. So, this latest deal provides Motorola with a comprehensive product portfolio for critical communications Digital Mobile Radio users. It offers its own MCC line of dispatch consoles to its Project 25 and TETRA customers. As part of Motorola’s portfolio, Avtec will continue to offer dispatch solutions for a number of radio network vendors so that its customers and channel partners can maximize their integration options.

Motorola remains poised to gain from both organic growth and growth-by-acquisition strategy, disciplined capital deployment and a favorable global macroeconomic environment. The company expects to show strong demand across land mobile radio products, services and software. Furthermore, its competitive position along with an attractive portfolio for large addressable markets augur well for future growth.

The buyout allows Motorola to target security operations centers for business-critical customers in addition to public safety command centers. Moreover, the company can sell its full product line through Avtec’s channel partners. Motorola intends to integrate its growing software suite into the Avtec console line along with its video surveillance products from the acquisition of Avigilon. As the leading provider of mission-critical communication products and services, Motorola has ensured a steady revenue stream from this niche market. The company aims to strengthen its leading position in the public safety domain by collaborating with other players in the ecosystem.

Driven by diligent execution of operational strategies, shares of Motorola have recorded an average return of 9.6% against the industry’s decline of 3.8% over the past three months.

Motorola currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the industry include Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL, Harris Corporation HRS and Clearfield, Inc. CLFD. While Comtech sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Harris and Clearfield carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Comtech has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5%.

Harris has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%.

Clearfield currently has a forward P/E (F1) of 48x.

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