Garmin releases 4Q earnings report

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Garmin today announced a 14 percent decrease in revenue for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 27, 2008, but a 10 percent increase in revenue for fiscal 2008.

The company had total revenue of $1.048 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to $1.217 billion in the same period of 2007.

The marine segment, the company said, was flat at $33 million for the fourth quarter. The automotive/mobile segment decreased 17 percent, and outdoor/fitness segment revenue increased 5 percent, the company said.

Revenue was down in all geographic areas for the quarter, led by a 26 percent decline in Europe.

“We continued to experience a challenging economic environment in the fourth quarter, with worsening trends throughout the period. However, we were able to demonstrate the power and agility of our vertical integration business model by responding quickly to the changes and scaling our production outputs to match demand,” chairman and CEO Min Kao said in a statement.

For the fiscal year, marine segment revenue increased 1 percent to $204 million, the company reported. Increases also were seen in other segments, led by a 26 percent increase in the outdoor/fitness segment.

“Our marine segment revenue was up 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, which is a tribute to the strength of our product portfolio and our market share gains during a year in which the marine industry suffered significantly,” Kao added.

“While we expect 2009 to be a very difficult year for the marine industry, we are pleased with the progress that we have made toward offering a full network of marine products and the OEM opportunities associated with our growing product portfolio. We will continue to commit research and development resources to be the leader in the marine electronics market,” he said.

Garmin stock this morning was trading at $17.19 per share. Its 52-week high and low were $65.50 and $14.40.

“Our goal is to maintain healthy margins and a strong balance sheet during the year,” CFO Kevin Rauckman said in a statement. “In addition, we will continue to manage our inventory carefully in order to scale it to the proper level to support our business in light of these challenging economic conditions. We are evaluating making adjustments in certain areas of our business in order to increase cost efficiency and match operations to market demand over the near- to intermediate term.”

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