CTS Corp Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
CTS Corporation ("CTS", "we", "our", "us" or the "Company") is a global manufacturer of sensors, electronic components, and actuators. CTS was established in 1896 as a provider of high-quality telephone products and was incorporated as an Indiana corporation in February 1929. Our principal executive offices are located in Lisle, Illinois.
We design, manufacture, and sell a broad line of sensors, electronic components, and actuators primarily to original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") for the aerospace, communications, defense, industrial, information technology, medical, and transportation markets. Our vision is to be a leading provider of sensing and motion devices as well as connectivity components, enabling an intelligent and seamless world. These devices are categorized by their ability to Sense, Connect or Move. Sense products provide vital inputs to electronic systems. Connect products allow systems to function in synchronization with other systems. Move products ensure required movements are effectively and accurately executed. We are committed to achieving our vision by continuing to invest in the development of products and technologies within these categories.
We operate manufacturing facilities in North America, Asia, and Europe. Sales and marketing are accomplished through our sales engineers, independent manufacturers' representatives, and distributors.
PRODUCTS BY MAJOR MARKETS
Our products perform specific electronic functions for a given product family and are intended for use in customer assemblies. Our major products consist principally of sensors and actuators used in passenger or commercial vehicles, electronic components used in communications infrastructure, information technology and other high-speed applications, switches, and potentiometers supplied to multiple markets, and fabricated piezoelectric materials and substrates used primarily in medical, industrial, defense and aerospace, and information technology markets.
MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION
Sales and marketing to OEMs is accomplished through our sales engineers, independent manufacturers' representatives, and distributors. We maintain sales offices in China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Scotland, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. Approximately 90% of 2017 net sales were attributable to our sales engineers.
Our sales engineers generally service the largest customers with application-specific products. The sales engineers work closely with major customers in designing and developing products to meet specific customer requirements.
We utilize the services of independent manufacturers' representatives for customers not serviced directly by our sales engineers. Independent manufacturers' representatives receive commissions from us. During 2017, approximately 5% of net sales were attributable to independent manufacturers' representatives. We also use independent distributors. Independent distributors purchase products from us for resale to customers. In 2017, independent distributors accounted for approximately 5% of net sales.
We utilize a wide variety of raw materials and purchased parts in our manufacturing processes. The following are the most significant raw materials and purchased components:
Conductive inks and contactors, passive electronic components, integrated circuits and semiconductors, certain rare earth elements ("REEs"), ceramic powders, plastic components, molding compounds, printed circuit boards and assemblies, quartz blanks and crystals, wire harness assemblies, copper, brass, silver, gold, platinum, lead, aluminum, and steel-based raw materials and components.
These raw materials and parts are purchased from a number of suppliers, and we generally do not believe we are dependent upon one or a limited number of suppliers. Although we purchase all of our semiconductors, REEs, conductive inks, and silver pastes from a limited number of suppliers, alternative sources are available.
We do not currently anticipate any significant raw material shortages that would limit production. However, the lead times between the placement of orders for certain raw materials and purchased parts and actual delivery to us may vary. Occasionally, we may need to order raw materials in greater quantities and at higher prices to compensate for the variability of lead times for delivery.
PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, AND LICENSES
We maintain a program of obtaining and protecting U.S. and non-U.S. patents relating to products that we have designed and manufactured, as well as processes and equipment used in our manufacturing technology. We were issued 6 new U.S. patents and 17 non-U.S. patents in 2017 and currently hold 151 U.S. patents and 157 non-U.S. patents. We have 8 registered U.S. trademarks, 20 registered foreign trademarks and 4 international trademark registrations. We have licensed the right to use several of our patents. In 2017, license and royalty income was less than 1% of net sales.