National Instruments Corporation (NATI)

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National Instruments Corporation (NATI)

Deutsche Bank 2012 Technology Conference Transcript

September 11, 2012 11:10 AM ET


Alex Davern - Chief Operating Officer


Brian - Deutsche Bank


Brian - Deutsche Bank

Welcome to the National Instruments presentation here at the Deutsche Bank 2012 Technology Conference. With us today, Alex Davern, he is the Chief Operating Officer for National Instruments. He has been with the company for at least 18 years, almost from the founding. So he knows it well.

They're a leader in computer-based testing and automation, their record revenues in Q2. The company is very broad-based. They're in the test and measurement space. There's a lot of players in this space. One thing we like about this area is its stability but also its profitability is an area of our industry that tends to be very profitable.

So, Alex is going to talk a little bit about the company, then we're going to jump right into Q&A. Alex?

Alex Davern

Thank you very much, [Brian]. I wonder if we could close out the door at the back. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. So I was going to do three or four introductory slides. I recognize some of the faces in the room. So you may have seen the presentation before and then we’ll switch to Q&A which I enjoy much more than repeating these slides I have to say.

So as Brian said, National Instruments is a leader in computer-based measurement and automation. We crossed over $1 billion in revenue last year. It’s a very much an organic growth for company. We have global operations, over 6,000 people, half of which are engineers. So we invested tremendous money into intellectual property of our people.

Very broad and diverse customer base, you can see from our revenue profile here we’ve had a tremendous success in long-term sustained growth at very high gross margins, approximately 78% gone all the way back to the IPO, back in 1995.

We saw two dips in revenue, in the history of the company. One in 2001 when the technology bubble burst, some of you guys are old enough to remember that one, and obviously, in 2009, when we went through the great recession. But we rapidly recovered in 2010, had major new record in 2011 and we are on a run rate right now in Q2 to hit about $1.2 billion in revenue in 2012.

A very broad customer base over 35,000 different companies bought from us last year. Our average order size is about $4,600. So it’s a fairly low ASP and that results in about a quarter of a million purchasing decisions by our customers around the world each year. And that gives us a lot of diversity and allows us to be able to ride through some of the disruptions that you see in the market occasionally.

No industry is more than 15% of revenue academic, what our software penetration to acquire new users for our core application software is the largest revenue source for us from an industry point of view. It’s about 12% of revenue.

And as half of our talent is, half of our employees are engineers and NI is a very high intellectual property company as a software player. We are very focused on culture. We have been fortune 100 best companies to work for in America for the last 12 years, one of only four technology companies that have survived since 2000 on that list.

We retained control of our business by retaining a strong cash position. So we have a stable business. We invest aggressively in it and we retain sufficient cash to ensure that we control the decision making during the downturns that we see occasionally like we did in 2001 and 2009.

Now simple cliff notes on what we do? We are essentially disrupting the intrench industry of box instrumentation. If you are familiar with companies like Teradyne, Agilent, Keithley, Rohde & Schwartz, et cetera, you understand that the engineer in the world today has been served for many years by this fixed function expensive devices, where the incumbent suppliers will define the functionality of an instrument and deliver the computing and the instrumentation measurement science in one closed device.

National Instruments for last 20 years has been ripping that industry apart. Our approach this industry is to provide scientist and engineers with modular approached instrumentation.

We put the measurement science on the plug-in board, that can plug into a PC or an industrial PXI system and we allowed the engineer to build his own instrument through software, and its our software position that revolutionize the industry combining our software and hardware with general purpose technology to provide a much faster, cheaper and smaller solution for the customer.

We are targeted two primary growth areas, one is test and measurement. It’s about a $21 billion market. It is the origination of our market position. NI has a very, very strong position in general purpose test. We are the leader in the application software for designing measurement systems. We are the leader in the networking communication technology for integrating measurement systems and we are the leader in computer-based measurement.

We are branching out rapidly into four additional layers in the test and measurement space. The semiconductor space which has traditionally been served by companies like Advantest, LTX-Credence, Teradyne, et cetera, and into the wireless communications which has traditionally been served by companies like Anritsu Wiltron in Japan and Agilent here in the United States.

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