Jun 24, 2016

Suffolk IDA Makes Comtech Pitch

Comtech stuff

Rack that up as a fairly profitable day for Comtech Telecommunications Corp.

First, the Melville-based high-tech manufacturer announced Thursday morning that it has received a $1.3 million funded order from the federal government for a new microwave network and associated power systems.

Then, later Thursday, Comtech PST Corp. – part of Comtech’s Government Solutions segment – announced multiple orders for high-power radio-frequency amplifiers from multiple domestic manufacturers, totaling approximately $5.8 million.

And finally, at its Thursday afternoon meeting, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agencyoffered Comtech Telecommunications a rich incentives package – including $710,000 in tax breaks – to keep the telecommunications equipment manufacturer from relocating out of state.

Officials from publicly traded Comtech Telecommunications – which employs over 2,000 people at subsidiaries across the country, including 114 on Long Island – have been discussing the possibility of moving their Melville HQ to Maryland, Florida or Arizona, three states where the company already maintains manufacturing operations.

The IDA’s hope is Comtech Telecommunications will instead renew leases at its two Suffolk County facilities, including its administrative offices and a nearby 44,850-square-foot manufacturing facility, and take an additional 24,386 square feet adjacent to its headquarters.

Comtech Telecommunications – which estimates a $1.76 million price tag to lease the additional space, renovate its existing facilities and purchase new equipment – has also reached out to Empire State Development, Albany’s main economic-development engine, for economic assistance that would make it easier to stay on Long Island.

The Suffolk IDA’s incentives package includes $76,000 in sales tax exemptions and a property tax abatement of $633,000 over 10 years.

While Comtech Telecommunications – which earlier this year completed its $430.8 million acquisition of Maryland-based TeleCommunications Systems and its 1,200 employees – has not yet announced if it will accept the IDA’s offer and remain on Long Island, Thursday was already a pretty good day, according to Comtech President and CEO Stanton Sloane.

Although his company closed trading Thursday at a 52-week low, Sloane lauded both the $1.3 million microwave-network contract from the federal government and the $5.8 million in RF amplifier orders from those numerous OEMs.

“These follow-on orders clearly demonstrate our continued leadership position in providing communications technology and the ongoing need for our solid-state, high-power amplifiers that are utilized by major OEMs in both domestic and international markets,” Sloane said in a statement. “We anticipate additional orders from these customers in the coming years.”