Quixote Corporation CEO Speaks About His Company

Jun.11.07 | About: Quixote Corp. (QUIX)

On June 11, The Wall Street Transcript interviewed Leslie J. Jezuit, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quixote Corporation (QUIX). Key excerpts follow:

TWST: What is Quixote Corporation?

Mr. Jezuit: Quixote Corporation is a company with a strategy of dedication to the safety, efficiency and security of transportation systems around the world. It was founded in 1969 by our founder, who had purchased some patents for water-filled bumpers. Through a series of acquisitions and evolution, we now are the world's largest manufacturer of crash cushions that are used on the highway, as well as a number of products that we have acquired over the years in the area of counting and classifying cars, highway advisory radio communications and traffic intersection controls. We report to the market in three segments. About 65% of our sales are from our Protect and Direct segment, which is the crash cushion business; about 15% of our sales are from the Inform segment, which is our counting, classifying and communications division; and about 20% of our sales are from our Intersection Control Segment, which includes products as simple as traffic lights, but also cameras, sensors and controllers that are used at intersections around the world.

TWST: If we were speaking a year ago, what were your goals and objectives? How have you fared over the past year?

Mr. Jezuit: Our objective and our growth strategy have been the same for the last 15 years or so. We aim to grow our businesses by about 15% a year at the top line, and if we're doing that, we would more than exceed growth of 15% on the bottom line. Our company recently has gone through a restructuring of the acquisitions that comprise our Intersection Control business. We closed a couple of plants, eliminated some older and non-core products, and moved a number of products to our Florida facility from California. As a result, some of our financials were dragged down a bit by the cost of the restructuring, but, overall, we reduced overhead by over $6 million and sized our Intersection Control business more appropriately for the future. The other two segments are having near-record years and are doing very well.

TWST: As you look out over the next 12 to 24 months, what are your priorities? What would make that time frame a success?

Mr. Jezuit: A good part of our agenda is our international expansion. We have seen excellent growth internationally, especially over the last 10 years. We have recently opened a manufacturing facility in China; in fact, there is machinery being installed as we speak. We will look at accelerating our penetration and growth internationally, which has been a very pleasant surprise to us, especially over the last few years. So going forward, that's important to us. In our area of communications and other areas, we are continually developing easy-to-use software that can be easily adapted to perform many functions. Traffic command centers throughout the US and the rest of the world want to be able to do any number of things remotely such as control their traffic lights, count cars or measure their speeds. So we certainly have a continuing investment in technology, especially in the electronics and software area.

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