Since January 2008, Hamilton has been CEO of Eden Prairie–based MTS, which makes high-tech test systems and sensors for machinery used in dozens of markets all over the world. MTS products, she says, “help companies predict how their products will perform.” The company has been a strong performer itself. In mid-November, it reported $49 million in net income on revenue of $461 million for fiscal 2008, compared to $41 million on $410 million the year before.
Hamilton and MTS see reasons for at least some optimism in a volatile 2009. One is the company’s industrially and geographically diversified customer base. She points to three economic drivers—energy, environment, and globalization—as “trends [that] aren’t changing because of the economic setbacks, though they are slowing.” In line with those trends, MTS is making testing equipment for wind turbine manufacturers, as well as directional sensors for the blades.
“Things are becoming higher performing, so that they’re more efficient and safe,” Hamilton says. Now it’s up to MTS’s customers to make those sensible investments.