MCAA 2003: Financial outlook improves

Indicators show we're going to miss a double dip downturn, so now may be the time for heavy investment in many industries. Manufacturers of instrumentation and controls and the industries they serve generally are doing better financially. Making appropriate financial/capital investment decisions in advance of business cycles can save companies from ruin and maximize b...

06/01/2003


Indicators show we're going to miss a double dip downturn, so now may be the time for heavy investment in many industries. Manufacturers of instrumentation and controls and the industries they serve generally are doing better financially. Making appropriate financial/capital investment decisions in advance of business cycles can save companies from ruin and maximize benefits during boom times. These were among topics covered during the recent Measurement, Control & Automation Association's (MCAA, Williamsburg, VA) 2003 Executive Forum. The conference ran May 12-14, 2003. MCAA's next executive forum is planned for May 17-18, 2004, in Oak Brook, IL.

One of the functions of MCAA members is to provide detailed financial information for benchmarking and analysis. A look at five years of results for 41 participating companies showed relatively flat performance for the period, according to Edward J. Curry Jr., Curry & Hurd (Gwyendd Valley, PA). From 2001 to 2002, Curry noted that sales revenue increased 0.4%; gross profit dipped 1.5%; R&D funding increased 5.3%; and income from operations decreased 5.5%. Doing without R&D funding, he warns, risks losing many customers by falling a generation behind in product development.

Further, knowing when to invest in large capital outlays can amount to "betting the company," according to Martha Thomas, Institute of Trend Research (Concord, N.H.) After analysis of dozens of industries and indicators, Thomas says, "We're seeing positive signs that we will avoid a double-dip recession and move beyond the slight stall." So, depending on industries you're selling to, now may be the time to heavily expand and invest, she suggests.





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