How Fitness Saved Garmin Earnings From Auto and Outdoor Declines

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Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) released its first-quarter results before the markets opened Wednesday. The company reported $0.55 in earnings per share (EPS) on $585 million in revenue, coming in below Thomson Reuters consensus estimates of $0.57 in EPS on $606.26 million in revenue. The same period last year had $0.55 in EPS on $583.22 million in revenue.

The relative strength of the U.S. dollar negatively affected revenue by roughly $38 million, or 7%, in the first quarter. If not for this impact from currency, revenues would have been in line with estimates.

Gross margin improved from the previous year to 59%, while operating margin remained strong at 19%.

The company maintained its guidance for the 2015 full year as $3.10 in EPS on $2.9 billion in revenue. There are consensus estimates of $3.10 in EPS on $2.88 billion in revenue.

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In terms of its segments, compared to the first quarter of the previous year, the company reported:

  • Auto revenues decreased 11% to $216.1 million.
  • Fitness revenues increased 31% to $131.0 million.
  • Outdoor revenues decreased 10% to $75.9 million.
  • Aviation revenues increased 2% to $98.1 million.
  • Marine revenues increased 7% to $64.3 million.

Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin, commented on the earnings:

We were able to deliver solid operating results and consistent pro forma EPS in the first quarter despite the negative impact of a stronger US Dollar compared to other major currencies. These results highlight our ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in the near-term while still investing in our market share position and long-term product roadmap through increased advertising and research and development expense. These investments are expected to generate ongoing growth potential in 2015 and future years.

Garmin had $63.5 million in free cash flow at the end of March, compared to a year ago when the company had $55.6 million. At the same time, on the balance sheet Garmin reported cash and cash equivalents of $1.17 billion.

Shares of Garmin closed Tuesday up 2.3% at $47.49. Following the release of the earnings report Wednesday morning, shares were down 1% at $47.00. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $53.73 and a 52-week trading range of $44.57 to $62.05.

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