AAON INC. Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
ISIN: US0003602069 , WKN: 894255
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Description of the company
AAON, Inc., a Nevada corporation, ("AAON Nevada") was incorporated on August 18, 1987. Our operating subsidiaries include AAON, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation, and AAON Coil Products, Inc., a Texas corporation. Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this Annual Report to “AAON,” the “Company”, “we”, “us”, “our”, or “ours” refer to AAON Nevada and our subsidiaries.
We are engaged in the engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sale of air conditioning and heating equipment consisting of standard, semi-custom and custom rooftop units, chillers, packaged outdoor mechanical rooms, air handling units, makeup air units, energy recovery units, condensing units, geothermal/water-source heat pumps and coils.
Products and Markets
Our products serve the commercial and industrial new construction and replacement markets. To date, our sales have been primarily to the domestic market. Foreign sales accounted for approximately $14.7 million, $14.6 million and $19.9 million of our sales in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Our rooftop and condensing unit markets primarily consist of units installed on commercial or industrial structures of generally less than ten stories in height. Our air handling units, self-contained units, geothermal/water-source heat pumps, chillers, packaged outdoor mechanical rooms and coils are applicable to all sizes of commercial and industrial buildings.
The size of these markets is determined primarily by the number of commercial and industrial building completions. The replacement market consists of products installed to replace existing units/components that are worn or damaged. Currently, slightly over half of the industry's market consists of replacement units.
The commercial and industrial new construction market is subject to cyclical fluctuations in that it is generally tied to housing starts, but has a lag factor of six to 18 months. Housing starts, in turn, are affected by such factors as interest rates, the state of the economy, population growth and the relative age of the population. When new construction is down, we emphasize the replacement market.
Based on our 2016 sales of $384.0 million, we estimate that we have approximately a 12-13% share of the greater than five ton rooftop market and a 2-3% share of the less than five ton market. Approximately 55% of our sales were generated from the renovation and replacement markets and 45% from new construction. The percentage of sales for new construction vs. replacement to particular customers is related to the customer’s stage of development.
We purchase certain components, fabricate sheet metal and tubing and then assemble and test the finished products. Our primary finished products consist of a single unit system containing heating and cooling in a self-contained cabinet, referred to in the industry as "unitary products”. Our other finished products are chillers, packaged outdoor mechanical rooms, coils, air handling units, condensing units, makeup air units, energy recovery units, rooftop units and geothermal/ water-source heat pumps.
We offer three groups of rooftop units: the RQ Series, consisting of eight cooling sizes ranging from two to ten tons; the RN Series, offered in 28 cooling sizes ranging from six to 140 tons; and the RL Series, which is offered in 21 cooling sizes ranging from 45 to 240 tons.
We also offer the SA, SB and M2 Series as indoor packaged, water-cooled or geothermal/water-source heat pump self-contained units with cooling capacities of three to 70 tons.
Our small packaged geothermal/water-source heat pump units consist of the WH Series horizontal configuration and WV Series vertical configuration, both from one-half to five tons.
We manufacture a LF Series chiller, air-cooled, a LN Series chiller, air-cooled, and a LZ Series chiller and packaged outdoor mechanical room, which are available in both air-cooled condensing and evaporative-cooled configurations, covering a range of four to 540 tons. BL Series boiler outdoor mechanical rooms are also available with 400-6,000 MBH heating capacity. FZ Series fluid cooler outdoor mechanical rooms are also available with a range of 50 to 450 tons.
We offer four groups of condensing units: the CB Series, two to five tons; the CF Series, two to 70 tons; the CN Series, 55 to 140 tons; and the CL Series, 45 to 230 tons.
Our air handling units consist of the indoor F1, H3 and V3 Series and the modular M2 and M3 Series, as well as air handling unit configurations of the RQ, RN, RL and SA Series units.
Our energy recovery option applicable to our RQ, RN, RL and SB units, as well as our V3, M2 and M3 Series air handling units, respond to the U.S. Clean Air Act mandate to increase fresh air in commercial structures. Our products are designed to compete on the higher quality end of standardized products.
Performance characteristics of our products range in cooling capacity from one-half to 540 tons and in heating capacity from 69,000 to 9,000,000 BTUs. All of our products meet the Department of Energy's (“DOE”) minimum efficiency standards, which define the maximum amount of energy to be used in producing a given amount of cooling. Many of our units far exceed these minimum standards and are among the highest efficiency units currently available.
A typical commercial building installation requires one ton of air conditioning for every 300-400 square feet or, for a 100,000 square foot building, 250 tons of air conditioning, which can involve multiple units.
One customer, Texas AirSystems, accounted for 10% or more of our sales during 2016 and 2015. No customer accounted for 10% or more of our sales during 2014.
Sources and Availability of Raw Materials
The most important materials we purchase are steel, copper and aluminum, which are obtained from domestic suppliers. We also purchase from other domestic manufacturers certain components, including compressors, electric motors and electrical controls used in our products. We attempt to obtain the lowest possible cost in our purchases of raw materials and components, consistent with meeting specified quality standards. We are not dependent upon any one source for raw materials or the major components of our manufactured products. By having multiple suppliers, we believe that we will have adequate sources of supplies to meet our manufacturing requirements for the foreseeable future.
Sourcing of raw materials may be impacted in the future by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act") that contains provisions to improve transparency and accountability concerning the supply of certain minerals, known as "conflict minerals", originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. As companies begin implementing the requirements adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") in response to the provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, availability of materials that contain conflict minerals may be affected.
We attempt to limit the impact of price fluctuations on these materials by entering into cancellable and non-cancellable fixed price contracts with our major suppliers for periods of six to 18 months. We expect to receive delivery of raw materials from our fixed price contracts for use in our manufacturing operations.
We employ a sales staff of 31 individuals and utilize approximately 65 independent manufacturer representatives' organizations (“Representatives”) having 104 offices to market our products in the United States and Canada. We also have one international sales organization, which utilizes 12 distributors in other countries. Sales are made directly to the contractor or end user, with shipments being made from our Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Longview, Texas, plants to the job site.
Our products and sales strategy focuses on niche markets. The targeted markets for our equipment are customers seeking products of better quality than offered, and/or options not offered, by standardized manufacturers.
To support and service our customers and the ultimate consumer, we provide parts availability through our sales offices. We also have factory service organizations at each of our plants. Additionally, a number of the Representatives we utilize have their own service organizations, which, in connection with us, provide the necessary warranty work and/or normal service to customers.
Our product warranty policy is: the earlier of one year from the date of first use or 18 months from date of shipment for parts only; an additional four years for compressors (if applicable); 15 years on aluminized steel gas-fired heat exchangers (if applicable); 25 years on stainless steel heat exchangers (if applicable); and ten years on gas-fired heat exchangers in RL products (if applicable). Our warranty policy for the RQ series covers parts for two years from date of unit shipment and labor for one year from date of unit shipment. Our warranty policy for the WH and WV Series geothermal/water-source heat pumps covers parts for five years from the date of manufacture.
The Company also sells extended warranties on parts for various lengths of time ranging from six months to ten years. Revenue for these separately priced warranties is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the separately priced warranty period.
Research and Development
Our products are engineered for performance, flexibility and serviceability. This has become a critical factor in competing in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) equipment industry. We must continually develop new and improved products in order to compete effectively and to meet evolving regulatory standards in all of our major product lines.
All of our Research and Development ("R&D") activities are self-sponsored, rather than customer-sponsored. R&D activities have involved the RQ, RN and RL (rooftop units), F1, H3, V3, M2 and M3 (air handling units), LF, LN and LZ (chillers), CB, CF and CN (condensing units), SA and SB (self-contained units), WH and WV (water-source heat pumps), FZ (fluid coolers) and BL (boilers), as well as component evaluation and refinement, development of control systems and new product development. We incurred research and development expenses of approximately $12.0 million, $7.5 million and $6.3 million in 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.