Harris Corp Reports Q2 2013 Earnings, Writes Down Value of Broadcast Business by Additional $98 Million, Expects BCD Sale to Close in February

Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 29 2013

Against a backdrop of what CEO William Brown called a “very difficult and uncertain government spending environment,” Harris Corporation announced that its revenue in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was $1.29Bn compared with $1.31Bn during the same period a year ago.

GAAP income from continuing operations was $142m, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared with $136m, or $1.18 per diluted share.

Harris had little to say about its Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) other than the fact that it has “entered into a definitive asset sale agreement with Gores Broadcast Solutions, Inc., an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC, relating to the sale of Broadcast Communications.”

The company also disclosed that it recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $98m relating to the sale of BCD.

Harris has written down the value of BCD on three previous occasions. The most recent write-down was in October 2012 when the company said that based on “recent indicators of value during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, including market, financial performance and indications of value from interested parties,” it had recorded non-cash impairment charges in discontinued operations totaling $222m. Harris said that the “vast majority” of this write-down was related to BCD, with only about $6m attributed to the company’s Cyber Integrated Solutions business, which was also discontinued in 2012.

At that time, Brown said that as a result of this charge, Harris had put a net book value of $287m on Harris BCD, which he said provided an “indication of the value we expect to receive” from the sale of the broadcast business.

When Harris announced the deal to sell its broadcast business to PE firm the Gores Group in December 2012, the company put a headline value of $225m on the transaction, or $62m lower than the value Brown had telegraphed to the market two months earlier.

However, through the BCD sale press release and a subsequent regulatory filing with the SEC, Harris disclosed that the terms of its deal with the Gores Group was made up of “a cash payment of $160m, a $15m subordinated promissory note (payable 15 months after closing), and an earnout of up to $50m based on future performance.”

Today’s disclosure that Harris has recorded an additional $98m impairment charge against the value of BCD, means the broadcast business is now valued on its books at $189m. This implies that after receiving the $160m cash payment, and the payment of the $15m promissory note ($16.125m with interest), Harris is not being overly optimistic that it will receive the full potential value of the earnout provision.

Nevertheless, Harris CFO Gary McArthur told analysts that the company “continues[s] to plan to purchase an additional $200 million in shares upon the successful conclusion of the broadcast sale,” something that both McArthur and Brown have reiterated since announcing the intent to divest BCD in May 2012.

McArthur also said that the company expects to close the sale of BCD in early February 2013, thereby ending the company’s 50+ year run as one of the broadcast industry’s most significant technology vendors.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Harris Corporation Reports Fiscal 2013 Second Quarter Results

Harris Corporation Discloses Structure of Promissory Note and Earnout Provision in Sale of Broadcast Communications Division

Harris Corporation to Sell Broadcast Business to The Gores Group for $225 Million

Harris Corp Announces Q1 FY 2013 Results, Further Writes Down Value of Broadcast Business

Harris Corporation To Divest Broadcast Business

Analyzing the Sale of the Harris Broadcast Division

Harris Corporation Shuts Down Cyber Integrated Solutions Business

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