Garmin reports 4Q results

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Garmin Ltd. today announced strong fourth-quarter results, including revenue and earnings per share growth for the period ending Dec. 26, 2009.

The company reported 2 percent growth in marine segment revenue, to $34 million. Total revenue was $1.06 billion, up 1 percent from $1.05 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Diluted earnings per share increased 77 percent to $1.38 from 78 cents in fourth quarter 2008; pro forma earnings per share increased 54 percent to $1.43 from 93 cents in the same quarter in 2008.

For fiscal 2009, total revenue was down 16 percent, to $2.95 billion this year, from $3.49 billion in 2008. Marine segment revenue for the year dropped 13 percent to $177 million.

Diluted earnings per share increased 1 percent in fiscal 2009 to $3.50 from $3.48 in fiscal year 2008; pro forma earning per share increased 3 percent to $3.53 from $3.42 in fiscal year 2008.

"We saw strengthening trends in both revenues and units during the fourth quarter and are pleased to deliver year-over-year revenue and earnings per share growth in the quarter," chairman and CEO Min Kao said in a statement.

"Looking at the full-year results, a significant highlight is the gross and operating margin expansion that was achieved in a period of declining revenues. Full-year gross margins increased 450 basis points, while operating margins increased 200 basis points," he added. "These results continue to demonstrate the agility of our vertically integrated organization and the determination of our associates to deliver the best possible results in spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment."

While the growth in the marine segment was small, Kao said the company was pleased with its results considering economic conditions.

"As we look forward to 2010, we are excited to be offering the most innovative and advanced marine electronics," he said. "Our recently introduced 7-inch touch-screen chart plotters allow us to deliver technology to the entry-level boater that was previously reserved for the luxury market. Our new 6000 and 7000 series with G-Motion technology represents a breakthrough in marine mapping graphics and will appeal to larger boats and yachts."