Holding company Acorn Energy is hopeful that its seedling energy technology companies might one day grow into big trees. The company has controlling or equity positions in three energy infrastructure firms -- Energy & Security Sonar Solutions, GridSense Systems, and US Sensor Systems (USSI). Its largest company, Israel-based Energy & Security Sonar Solutions, offers underwater acoustic and sonar security systems for the military and offshore oil rigs. GridSense makes electronic monitoring systems for utility companies, and USSI designs fiber optic sensing systems for energy companies.
Acorn Energy's revenues increased by 33% in 2011 due to an increase of more than 200% in GridSense's revenues attributable to the June 2011 order GridSense received from a leading electric utility in the Southeastern USA to use its TransformerIQTM to monitor more than 2,000 transformers. Other factors included USSI's revenue of $0.9 million (up 196% from 2010) primarily due to oil and gas companies entering into "proof-of-concept" contracts for USSI's downhole and marine seismic products. However, Energy & Security Sonar Solutions revenues went down by $1.1 million or 11% in 2011, due to the completion of an AquaShield™ DDS project at the end of 2010 without another project to replace the lost revenues until the receipt of a $12.3 million order in December 2011.
In 2011, Asia accounted for 33% of Acorn Energy's revenues.
Net income increased by 236% in 2011 due to higher revenues outpacing operating expenses.
Acorn Energy has pared down its portfolio to focus on investments that improve the efficiency of the energy grid, and reduce the risk for owners of large energy assets.
To raise cash, in 2011 the company sold subsidiary CoaLogix (which helps coal and gas-fired power plants reduce pollution), to funds managed by Energy Capital Partners, for $101 million.
In 2010 subsidiary Coreworx (which provides project management software to energy companies such as Chevron, Husky Energy, and USEC, bought Decision Dynamics Technology Ltd., a Canadian company that was registered on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Decision Dynamics' project cost management software, called Oncore, was re-branded Coreworx Oncore. However, that year Acorn Energy decided to exit this unprofitable business and sell it to the unit's management.
Growing a core busineses, in 2012 Acorn Energy expanded its technology portfolio, acquiring OmniMetrix, LLC, a major manufacturer of remote monitoring equipment and systems for underground pipelines and emergency power generators, for $8.5 million.
Columbia Wanger Asset Management, LLC owns 14% of the company. – less