Garmin Goes Off Course

The GPS giant has a rough quarter.

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No good news from the GPS maker.

1) Earnings: Excluding one-time gains, Garmin's earnings of 93 cents a share were well short of the $1 figure expected by Wall Street. Revenue of $912 million was way below forecasts of $956 million, and the company slashed full-year guidance to $3.98 billion in revenue from $4.5 billion.

2) New products: Garmin said its hyped Nuvifone launch would be put off until mid-'09, blaming retooling to meet carrier requirements.

At the open, shares were off more than 14 percent at 38.66.

One of the hottest stocks of 2007, Garmin shares have fallen from a peak above 119 last September, before markets began dropping, the auto sector caved, and the consumer started to reconsider spending on pricey new gadgets.

Analysts react:

  • Standard & Poor's kept its "strong buy" on the stock, but warned that "we believe a stretched consumer will reduce GRMN's near-term revenue growth potential, though we still believe in its longer-term prospects once cyclical factors abate."
    • Oppenheimer & Co. says, "There is no way to sugarcoat these disappointing results, but we do see a silver lining in Garmin's decision to clear the decks in terms of guidance. Having significantly reset the bar, Garmin now seems far less likely to underdeliver in the back half of the year, in our view." Oppenheimer says that makes it a "less perilous" stock to own, as its fundamentals remain relatively healthy despite slower demand.