Newly independent ADT 'like a 138-year-old startup'

In second week of trading on the NYSE, the home security company says it’s launching a new era of growth
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Monday, October 8, 2012

NEW YORK—Flanked by ADT executives and two customers saved from potential carbon monoxide poisoning by an ADT alarm system, Naren Gursahaney, CEO of The ADT Corp., rang the starting bell at the New York Stock Exchange today.

As the loud “clang, clang, clang” announced the start of trading, a crowd of ADT leadership team members and their guests burst into cheers and waved blue, octagonal ADT signs made out of cardboard.

Their excitement was palpable as ADT celebrated the start of its second week of trading as an independent company newly separated from Tyco International. That Switzerland based company split into ADT, Tyco (which includes SimplexGrinnell and Tyco Integrated Security) and its former flow control business, now part of Pentair Ltd.

ADT is based in Boca Raton, Fla. and has a history dating back nearly 140 years. But the company now almost feels brand new, Don Boerema, ADT senior VP and chief corporate development officer, told Security Systems News.

“It just makes it official that we’re kind of like a 138-year-old startup,” Boerema said in an interview on the trading floor just after the ceremony. “We’re kind of on a launching pad right now. If you look at our business and all the new different areas on top of security, if you look at home automation, if you look at energy management, health care, everything else we’re getting into, there’s a huge opportunity for a lot of growth. This allows us to really focus on it and capitalize on the big growth opportunities. It’s a really exciting time right now.”

ADT started at $37.78 today after closing Friday at $38.24. It started trading on Oct. 1 at $36.

Asked by SSN about how the stock is doing, Boerema said, “If you look at performance for the first week, it was pretty positive. You can’t argue about that. Most people don’t get that kind of return in a year. We got it in a week."

And Gursahaney told SSN that fluctuation in stock price is normal for a new company.

“For any new issue we’re going to see a lot of noise in those first couple weeks. I’m not going to get too worried about it whether it moves one way or another,” he said. “I think our job as the leadership team is educating the investor base on ADT and how we differentiate ourselves from the marketplace.”

Immediately following the ceremony, Gursahaney did a live interview with CNBC.

When asked why ADT was going solo now, he replied: “ADT is ready … We’re performing very well. It's a great opportunity for us to be pure play, focused exclusively on the small business and residential security market.”

ADT has nearly 6.4 million customers in the United States and Canada and nearly 16,000 employees.

Joining Gursahaney on the bell podium were ADT Chairman Bruce Gordon, CFO Kathryn Mikells and two ADT customers, Tom and Kathi Guarino of Glen Head, N.Y. Also up there were some ADT staff and first responders who assisted the Guarinos last year in their CO emergency.

According to ADT, “thanks to ADT’s home monitoring system, the Guarinos were alerted last year during Hurricane Irene to dangerously high carbon monoxide levels in their home. The alarm prompted ADT’s trained call-center experts to contact local first responders, who raced to the Guarino residence and provided life-saving medical care. The family attributes their rescue to their ADT system, the company’s team of trained specialists and skilled first responders. The Guarinos also have an ADT system in their family-owned business in Glen Head and have been ADT customers for nearly 20 years.”

“Thank God we had the system installed,” Tom Guarino said after the ceremony.

Kathi Guarino said the couple was excited to be a part of the bell ringing ceremony. “It was amazing,” she said.

Gursahaney, in a prepared statement, said the Guarinos and those that helped them “represent the core of what we do—we help save lives.”

Outside the NYSE, ADT's new listing was announced on a giant banner stretched across the entrance to the building.