You might already be asking, what is Dover and what does it do?
To put simply, it is an American conglomerate that specializes in manufacturing different industrial products for consumers and other companies and sells absolutely great software.
The company was not really founded but more like put together out of 4 already existing ones. The man who bought these four companies was a stockbroker named George Ohrstrom who had already had some of the much needed business connections to make his newly incorporated company work.
Officially, Dover was incorporated only in 1955 when it IPO’d, despite being actually formed in 1947. During the next 20 years the company had acquired more than 10 companies.
All of those newly acquired companies, including those which Dover had in the beginning, were known to have their own different divisions with separate leaders controlling them.
The first companies which had been operating under Dover were very industry-focused, manufacturing tools like oil pumps, automobile lifters and especially, elevators. Until the seventies, Dover has been aggressively purchasing influential elevator companies in the Unites States and soon had become the largest elevator company in the country.
During these 20 years of growth, liquid measuring, rods and nozzle valves, fueling solutions had been brought into existence by this company, till this day these divisions have been operating at high performance levels which make the company stand out.
Not only that, the corporation started making robotic lifts, great escalators and other tools for manufacturing like a variety of nozzles and valves.
Being a leading elevator company in the US was and still is a big thing as in the eighties and beyond, even more massive real-estate developments had come to place and the market was getting only bigger.
Dover’s escalators, of course, conquered the country’s shopping malls and skyscrapers.
The company’s escalators have become a part of the American culture, they acted and still act as both a playground for children, a midway for businessmen between meetings, a beginning of something great, like a great purchase of clothing, making a bet on a horse in Las Vegas or just exploring what products the nation is making at the time.
What is even more interesting is that Dover had purchased Sargent Industries in the mid-eighties which was an incredibly important company for the US military and the government.
Nearly 70 million dollars had been spent on this acquisition by Dover, but it was quite worthwhile as one of the Sargent’s divisions was the main player in supplying aerospace and defense contractors, submarine and ship-makers with super important components.
Sargent was sold in 2015 by Dover, after 31 years of being together.
At the same time, Dover was making larger and larger steps to make the mark in the electronics industry and bite companies like Raytheon in the neck. The way Dover first got into electronics was by purchasing corporations like K&N or NURAD.
We have mentioned Raytheon for a reason as Dover Corporation started getting into the same industries and niches it was a leader in like microwave communication, navigation for aerospace and defense, refrigeration, electronic displays and circuits as a whole.
Dover Corporation had acquired around 70 companies during the 2 last years of the previous century.
The amount is huge but does it really add that much value?
Well, the short answer in no, because the corporation just couldn’t optimize them all to the level that they wanted these acquisitions to be.
70 companies purchased in a frame of 2 years was just absolute craziness. If let’s say, Apple and Google had merged into one company, they still would not be able to handle nearly one hundred companies underneath them.
So, a decent amount of these newly acquired companies was sold.
What followed after was the 2008 global economic crisis and that big thing did not show any mercy to Dover Corporation whatsoever, especially, having such massive amount of companies underneath which hadn’t all been managed that well, to say the least.
However, with great restructurings in the company board and management, it was able to rise again from the recession and make some more acquisitions, this time, more strategic and tactful ones.
After the company had recovered its losses of 2008, it had purchased Anthony International for more than half a billion dollars. This acquisition would later substantially help the company better integrate glass for the refrigerators and electronic displays it was making.
Not to mention, the company had moved its headquarters several times throughout the years, first from Washington DC to New York City, then from New York to Chicago, Illinois. The last moving came with strategic cost reduction and made the headquarters more sufficient.
Now, after the nationwide economic troubles and hardship, Dover Corporation had made its profits once again and was fully prepared for more acquisitions.
25 of them to be more frank.
This time, this large amount of purchases was thought out very well and was concentrated mainly in the core industries which the company was a leader in.
After that, the company was focusing on cutting operational costs, trying to get their supplies for less and optimizing the logistics, delivery and transportation.
Circuits and elevators and the government contracts were not enough for Dover, in the beginning of 2010 the company decided to go check out the audio industry.
A year later it had purchased a company called Knowles which would accelerate the company in this industry and give their precious development material for manufacturing speakers, microphones and pretty much everything there is inside an audio player.
The company had soon started making hearing-aids as well and become a strong player in this field.
To put in perspective what the activities and achievements of this company are, we need to take a look at the very basis of it. Eighties was the decade when Dover finally decided what it wants to be and how to structure that.
The main principle is that this company has 4 different sectors or divisions, as one may call them: elevators/escalators, oil and gas, industrial electronics and aerospace industrials. However, these 4 major components had changed multiple times throughout the years.
Once the company got into communications, printing and ID’s, refrigeration and supplies for food manufacturing, even more divisions popped up on its list. One more sector which is taken over by Dover is fueling and fluid control.
The majority of car washes use tools made by none other but this exact company. Most of these tools are pumps which are used in gas stations and other places for petroleum as well.
What we haven’t covered as well is Dover’s printing and identification solutions which is quite an important division in its portfolio.
Dover uses and makes one of the most advanced laser-based printing products and other scanning devices and absolutely great software and hardware for businesses.
The aforementioned fluid pumps are not only for water and gas, large companies are using these tools for transfers of chemical and other kinds of materials as well.
Engineered products is another part of Dover which provides a wide variety of technical products to other organizations like robotic lifters for automobile industry or microwave communication for the military.
Last but not least, refrigeration solutions is another great part of the efforts Dover is putting in its business. The company has been the leader in this industry for a good number of decades and is seen as a strong competition by companies like Raytheon Technologies who also are focused on cutting-edge refrigeration solutions.
Not only that, a majority of beverage containers in the US are made by Dover, that makes food and beverage companies rely on this conglomerate, giving it more and more power over time.
Dover’s stock is amazing. Although it is not liquid at all, having an average volume of shares traded daily only at 730,000, the stock is growing like the bamboos, quickly and high.
During the years of operation in the previous century, the stock had some decent amount of growth but there wasn’t that much amazement for investors.
The huge surge had begun in 2010s when Dover went in for that “audio cash” purchasing multiple speaker, microphone and receiver companies which would later bring unseen amounts of profit.
To conclude it needs to be said that the Dover Corporation is one of those powerful old-timers who really added much value in building new industries throughout the decades.
Not only did this company get itself to innovate and show the public who is the main guy giving tools to the giants but also, let other companies grow along with it, providing them with topnotch manufacturing supplies and making great stuff for the US aerospace and defense.
It is difficult to say if we would have such cool escalators in shopping malls today without Dover.