Garmin trumps estimates on demand for golf, dog-tracking gadgets

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:42am EDT

(Reuters) - Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O), which makes navigation devices, posted a quarterly profit that trumped analysts' estimates, boosted by strong demand for products such as golfing accessories with preloaded courses and dog-tracking gadgets.

The company also raised its full-year profit outlook.

Garmin's GPS-enabled handheld navigation device, once a must-have, has faced sluggish demand over the last couple of years as consumers switch to smartphones that offer turn-by-turn navigation.

But Garmin has recently tried new strategies such as bundling its devices with high-margin mapping services. It has also been betting on its outdoor and fitness products to drive growth and reduce dependence on PNDs.

For the full year, Garmin now expects a per-share profit of $2.75 to $2.90, up from its earlier forecast $2.70 to $2.85.

"Due to the diverse markets that we serve, we were able to again post growth in revenue, unit volumes, and operating income during the third quarter of 2012," Chief Executive Min Kao said.

The company's Dutch rival, TomTom (TOM2.AS), trimmed its full-year revenue forecast on Tuesday, citing falling sales of its car navigation devices in Europe.

Garmin's third-quarter profit fell to $140.3 million, or 72 cents per share from $150.4 million, or 77 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 74 cents per share. Total revenue rose 1 percent to $672 million.

Analysts on average had estimated earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $660.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales of Garmin's outdoor products contributed 16 percent of the total and were up 11 percent at $105 million. (Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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