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Garmin Ltd.  (NASDAQ:GRMN)
Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call
Oct. 31, 2018, 10:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Garmin Ltd Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. I would now like to introduce your host for today's call, Ms. Teri Seck, Manager of Investor Relations. Ma'am, you may begin.

Teri Seck -- Manager of Investor Relations

Good morning. We would like to welcome you to Garmin Limited Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Call. Please note that the earnings press release and related slides are available at Garmin's Investor Relations site on the Internet at www.garmin.com/stock. An archive of the webcast and related transcript will also be available on our website.

As a reminder, we adopted the new US GAAP revenue standard in the first quarter of 2018. The prior periods presented here have been restated to reflect adoption of this new standard. This earnings call includes projections and other forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Limited and its business. Any statements regarding our future financial position, revenues, earnings, gross and operating margins and future dividends, market shares, product introductions, future demand for our products and plans and objectives are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this earnings call may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of risk factors affecting Garmin. Information concerning these risk factors is contained in our Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Presenting on behalf of Garmin Limited this morning are Cliff Pemble, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Doug Boessen, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Cliff Pemble.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Teri, and good morning, everyone. I'd like to begin by mentioning a couple of important milestones we recently celebrated. During the third quarter, we shipped our 200 millionth product, which is a testament to our ability to design, manufacture and sell unique applications of technology for active lifestyles. Equally is exciting, we started production in our new aviation manufacturing facility located in Olathe, Kansas. This new facility more than doubles our production capacity, allowing us to serve our growing aviation business for many years to come.

Moving now to the quarterly results, earlier today, Garmin reported strong third quarter consolidated revenue of $810 million, up 8% over the prior year. Marine, Aviation, Fitness and Outdoor collectively increased 16% year-over-year and contributed 80% of total revenues. Gross margin improved to 59.4% compared to the prior year. Operating income improved to $196 million, up 13% over the prior year. This resulted in GAAP EPS of $0.97 and pro forma EPS of $1 in the quarter. We are pleased with our performance in the first three quarters of 2018 and these strong results give us confidence to raise our full-year EPS guidance. Doug will discuss our financial results in greater detail in a few minutes, but first I'd like to provide a few brief remarks on the performance of our business segments.

Starting with the Marine segment, revenue increased 28% as we saw strong sales continue well into the summer boating season. Approximately half of the growth was organic while the other half came from acquisitions. Gross and operating margins were 59% and 14%, respectively. We recently announced our GPSMAP 8600 series of chartplotters. This is the first product line to use on new G3 maps, which combine the best of Garmin and Navionics content. We've been very intentional about investing in our Marine segment and the industry is taking notice. For the fourth consecutive year, we were recognized by the National Marine Electronics Association as Manufacturer of the Year and Panoptix LiveScope won the prestigious Technology Award. We were also recognized as one of the top 10 most innovative marine companies in 2018 by Soundings Trade Only, which is a B2B news and information provider for the recreational boating industry. It's an honor to be recognized by the marine industry and we will continue to invest in this segment to maximize its potential.

Turning next to Aviation, revenue increased 17%, driven by broad-based growth within this segment. Gross and operating margins increased to 76% and 35%, respectively, resulting in operating income growth of 49% over the prior year. During the quarter, we completed the acquisition of FltPlan.com and have begun integrating these new services in the Garmin's existing apps. Also, we recently announced that our ADS-B solution was selected by Gulfstream for the G280 aircraft. Finally, we announced a teaming agreement with Bell to supply avionics for on-demand mobility vehicles. While this project is in its early stages, it's an important first step toward creating a viable urban air transport system.

Turning next to the Fitness segment, revenue increased 14% primarily driven by growth of our wearable products. Gross and operating margins were 54% and 20%, respectively, and operating income grew 12% over the prior year. During the third quarter, we launched the vivosmart 4, a slim smart activity tracker that includes a pulse ox sensor. In addition to providing blood oxygen saturation levels, this device also provides users with advanced sleep monitoring and the new Body Battery feature that helps individuals understand and manage their energy levels throughout the day. We also added Disney Princess and Marvel's Spider-Man bands to our popular vivofit jr. product line along with new mobile app adventures.

Turning next to the Outdoor segment, revenue increased 13% on a year-over-year basis, driven primarily by growth in wearables. Gross and operating margins improved year-over-year to 65% and 38%, respectively, resulting in operating income growth of 16%. We recently announced the integration of Spotify for the fenix 5 Plus series and just this morning the Forerunner 645 music was added to the list of Spotify compatible wearables. This gives our customers the ability to download Spotify playlists to the watch via the Spotify app, which is available from the Connect IQ store. The app is already proving to be very popular with customers. During its first full day of availability, Spotify set a record for the most downloads of a new app from our Connect IQ store. Finally, we recently announced Instinct, a rugged and reliable GPS smartwatch designed to expand the market for outdoor wearables.

Looking finally at the Auto segment, revenues decreased 16% due to the ongoing decline of the PND market. Gross and operating margins declined year-over-year to 43% and 9%, respectively. Our global market share position in the PND category remains very strong. We recently announced that we've been selected by the Chinese auto group, Geely, to provide camera and driving recorded systems beginning in model year 2020. This award demonstrates the progress we are making as a Tier 1 auto supplier.

In summary, we are pleased with our results in the first three quarters of 2018. In light of the strong third quarter results, we are making some adjustments to our guidance. We anticipate our fourth quarter revenue to be relatively flat on a year-over-year basis with full-year revenue of approximately $3.3 billion and a gross margin of 58.5%. We are raising our full-year operating margin to approximately 22% and lowering our full-year pro forma effective tax rate to approximately 16%, resulting in pro forma earnings per share of approximately $3.45. That concludes my remarks. Next, Doug will walk you through additional details on our financial results. Doug?

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Thanks, Cliff. Good morning, everyone. Let's begin by reviewing our third quarter financial results, then move to comments on the balance sheet, cash flow statement and taxes. We posted revenue of $810 million for the third quarter, representing 8% increase year-over-year. Gross margin was 59.4%, a 120 basis point increase from the prior year. Operating expense as a percentage of sales was 35.2% consistent with the prior year. Operating income was $196 million, a 13% increase year-over-year. Operating margin was 24.2%, 110 basis point increase from the prior year. Our GAAP EPS was $0.97, pro forma EPS was $1, 30% increase from the prior year.

Next, look at our third quarter revenue by segment. During the quarter, we achieved 8% consolidated growth led by double-digit growth in four of our five segments. This growth was partially offset by decline in our Auto segment as result of continued decline in auto PND business. On a combined basis Marine, Aviation Fitness and Outdoor rep 16% compared to prior-year quarter.

Looking next at third quarter revenue and operating income. On a combined basis, Marine, Aviation, Fitness and Outdoor our segments contributed 80% of total revenue in third quarter 2018 compared to 74% in the prior-year quarter. Auto declined from 26% to 20%, while every other segment grew. Marine grew from 10% to 12% and Fitness grew from 22% to 24%. You can see from the charts illustrating our profit mix by segment. On a combined basis Marine, Aviation, Fitness and Outdoor segments delivered 92% of operating income in third quarter 2018 compared to 89% in third quarter of 2017. Aviation and Outdoor segments year-over-year increased in both operating income dollars and operating margin.

Looking next to operating expenses. Our third quarter operating expenses increased by $21 million or 8%. Research and Development increased $9 million year-over-year due to investments in engineering resources and recent acquisitions. Our advertising expense was down $1 million from the prior-year quarter. SG&A was up $13 million compared to prior-year quarter, increased 60 basis points as a percentage of sales. The increase was primarily due to personnel-related expenses, incremental costs associated with recent acquisitions.

A few highlights on the balance sheet and cash flow statement. We ended the quarter with cash and marketable securities of approximately $2.5 billion. Accounts receivable decreased sequentially due to seasonal trends, but increased year-over-year on stronger sales. Inventory balance increased on a sequential basis to $537 million as we prepared for the seasonally strong fourth quarter. In the third quarter 2018, we generated free cash flow of $234 million, $81 million increase the prior-year quarter. Also during the quarter, we paid dividends of $100 million.

In the third quarter of 2018, we reported an effective tax rate of 8.5% compared to the effective tax rate of 20.5% in the prior-year quarter. The decrease in the effective tax rate is primarily due to the benefits from US tax reform, increased benefit from US R&D tax credits. We expect our full year 2018 pro forma effective tax rate to be approximately 16%.

This concludes our formal remarks. Miranda(ph), could you please open the line for Q&A.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question is from Charlie Anderson from Dougherty and Company. Your line is open.

Charlie Anderson -- Dougherty and Company -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks for taking my questions. It looks like on the guidance, you guys have kept pretty much everything with the exception of the operating margin a little bit higher, so maybe if you could just add a little color on why you're seeing the better operating margin despite it looks like mix is going to be fairly similar. And then as a follow-on question, Cliff, I just would be curious and your thoughts on the geopolitical situation in terms of its impact on your business. So, are you seeing anything changing in terms of consumer behavior in Asia? And then I don't think you want to be a contract manufacturer, but people are scrambling to move outside of China. Are there any opportunities for you guys? Thanks.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So in terms of guidance, basically each segment that comprises our guidance has a different set of circumstance that we're looking at there. So we took each one of those into consideration when we constructed our guidance and the result came up to essentially relatively flat with last year -- with the product mix and the overall trends we're seeing, we saw confidence to upgrade our operating income estimate as well. In terms of geopolitical issues right now, we don't really see anything that's moving the needle in terms of concerns. The Asia demand still appears to be very strong, I think there is increasing competition in some of the product lines there particularly in wearables, but we are very competitive with our product line. I would say, we probably don't have the vision to become a contract manufacturer, given the situation around tariffs. We actually feel like our capacity is really quite constrained with our own demand right now. So we probably don't have the ability to look for other opportunities like that.

Charlie Anderson -- Dougherty and Company -- Analyst

Great. Thanks so much.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Charlie.

Operator

Our next question comes Robert Spingarn from Credit Suisse. Your line is open.

Robert Spingarn -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Good morning. Just Cliff, on that last thing, on the op margin guide. You talked about it overall kind of flattish with last year's -- almost 22%. Automotive is clearly coming down a bit this year. So where do you see the strength that's offsetting that. Would you follow the trends that we've seen for the first nine months? Is there anything different about the fourth quarter?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think segment mix. If Auto comes down, we get improvements from some of the other segments, which are typically higher than Auto and there's variables within each segment as well in terms of product mix, but for the most part of segment mix.

Robert Spingarn -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay. I was just thinking Auto is down from last year, so is there one particular segment where you see more momentum in the margin strength out of the other non-auto segments?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We're doing well, as we said, in Outdoor. I think our fenix line continues to be an increasing part of the overall Outdoor segment mix and the new fenix 5 Plus series has a strong margin profile. And also in Aviation, obviously, we're doing well there. A large part of benefit there with product warranty, which has been very good and our products are very reliable in Aviation. So we're getting some benefit on the margin side with that.

Robert Spingarn -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay. And then just lastly on Marine, your organic growth is, I guess, solidly in the mid-teens now, and I wanted to ask how that compares with the overall marine market. You've -- obviously, you're quite innovative across the product line. How would you say your share movement -- your market share movement has been. Is there a way to quantify?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think it's harder to quantify in Marine. It's a fairly small industry, in the recreational boating category. But by our estimates and I think based on financial estimates that we see from other players that had to be reported publicly, we are taking share and the overall market is probably growing in the 4% range, while we are growing, as you said, kind of in the low to mid teens organically.

Robert Spingarn -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Yeah. Okay. Well, thank you very much.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Robert.

Operator

Our next question comes from Joe Wittine from Longbow Research. Your line is open.

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning. First of in Automotive, can you help us understand the scope of the Geely agreement? Are you going to be included in every Geely car in China or is it kind of an option? And if you could address timing of both that agreement as well as a reminder of the BMW China timing? Thanks.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So, the camera solutions that we're providing to Geely are across most of their models. In China, there is regulation around having camera systems in vehicles, so it is equipment that is required in the vehicle. Timing will be the model year 2020, when the first model starts rolling out, so we'll start ramping up in later 2019 and that happens also coincide with the BMW China supply agreement as well.

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

So could you anticipate those rolling on are enough that people like us will notice a change in the trajectory of the segment, which has been pretty constant over the last couple of years?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think definitely that will change the trajectory around auto OEM for sure. And we also have additional wins in there that will come online in the 2020 time frame as well. So we anticipate that that will be a strong building year for us.

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

Okay. And then second, in Aviation, in the aftermarket portion -- and I know there's good things happening on the OEM side, but can you update us on what you're seeing in terms of incremental capacity additions. It's been 90 days or so since we last surveyed that channel, so curious what you're seeing and hearing, and obviously I'm just trying to modulate whether we should be expecting much growth in '19 off of '18 given those potential capacity constraints.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I don't think we really see anything different in terms of the trends of capacity. We are selectively adding some shops to our list as we see qualified shops out there that can can bring on Garmin equipment. But, in general, it's still fairly linear right now, which is one of the constraints that we face I think going forward in Aviation; it's really not demand limited, it's capacity limited.

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

So it's fair to say that capacity is a problem in '19, therefore some of this demand on the regulation side will spill into 2020, is still your base case?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

That's our belief. I think we could reach the low end of the equipage(ph)estimates based on today's capacity rates, but nobody probably believes at this point, at the low end, is the most likely case. We think that there is upside potential beyond the 2020 deadline.

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

Okay, very helpful. Thank you.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Joe.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Yuuji Anderson from Morgan Stanley.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thanks very much. This James Faucette for sitting in for for Yuuji. Just wanted to dig in a little bit on the December quarter and how you're looking that on a year-over-year, and wondering on the fitness specifically, how much of the year-over-year growth in Q3 was attributable to new launch timing versus what was really existing vivoactive and Forerunner growth? Just trying to look and see if how much timing of launches may have had an impact on Q3 and Q4?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think timing definitely had an impact on Q3. If you look that where we were last year, we had not yet delivered our new product lines into the market. So it's a very easy comp versus Q3 of last year. In terms of what we're looking at for Q4, there's really two dynamics that we see. One is, the year-over-year comp with particularly vivoactive 3, which is a very popular line last year, as well as this year, and then the rotation of the product mix within fitness from basic trackers to advanced trackers is another dynamic that's shifting things around within the segment. So all that coming together, we feel like our implied guide is basically what it is fairly flat to slightly down, but we feel very good about the product positioning within the segment and where we're at this year, and I think looking forward into the coming year, we will have a strong product portfolio that we can build on.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

And then -- you know, maybe a question for Doug, I just wondering on costs associated with the new facility or the fixed costs now fully built in to the implied Q4 guidance, will there continue to be incremental fixed costs that still need to be layered in before we get to the sustained run rate there?

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Yes. So basically we are only partially(ph)to our facility deal. So the current situation is that we have opened for running our aviation manufacturing piece. In 2019, we will be moving over our distribution center. Then, after that's complete, we'll be renovating our existing facilities in office space. So there will be continued CapEx spend as well as costs in there. But we factored those into the guidance we gave you what the depreciation for Q4 and then when we get to next year, we factoring in that depreciation expense that point in time.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

That's great and just from a timing perspective, how long until you get to fully installed and you'll be done building out that new spacing facility?

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Yeah. It probably be when it's all set and done, and like I said, the distribution center, we will have that moved in 2019, and probably be a couple of years after that by time moving fully built out on the renovation new facility. We're doing it over a period of time depending on what our needs are.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Okay, great, thank you very much, gentlemen.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, James.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ben Bollin from Cleveland Research. Your line is open.

Ben Bollin -- Cleveland Research -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for taking my question. Could you talk a little bit about the wearables market overall? What do you think about the organic growth in high-end wearables? How much of your growth would you characterize as expansion of the base versus refresh trade up? And any thoughts you have on kind of the competitive environment overall and then a follow-up?Thanks.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So in terms of organic growth, we still see the smartwatch market as being a growth market, especially as people who have been in basic trackers over the years start to look to trade up and do more. I think there's a lot of awareness around the space right now. So that's helping as well. So we are getting some benefits from organic growth, but also as we expand our product line, like we've done with the Instinct, that helps expand our reach to other customers who otherwise may not be ready to go or make that kind of commitment to like the fenix watch, for example. In terms of competition, it's definitely getting stronger. There is a lot of competitors out there and some coming into this space from China. So that is the dynamic especially in the Asian market, but also even other areas as they start to play the market like what is typically done from those players that play typically on price. So that's the way we see things right now.

Ben Bollin -- Cleveland Research -- Analyst

Okay. And then within the Aviation business, what are your thoughts when you look through the ADS-B cycle -- In the past even the spillover demand? Do you have any high-level thoughts, is this where maybe you start to segue into more targeted commercial aviation opportunities? Any concerns on pull forward of demand potentially sapping consumption in future years? What are your high level thoughts on what this cycle means once you kind of get through it? Thanks.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think definitely they'll be some slack to tick up once the cycle is complete. I think if there's any good news in the capacity issue, it's that we believe it will be more of a soft landing than what past mandates have done. In terms of segueing to other areas, we definitely have new categories and new opportunities that we're pursuing, and the activity in Aviation really is very strong right now in terms of the overall market. So we anticipate that there are other opportunities that we can leverage. Pull forward, you know, is certainly a concern in a situation like this, particularly as we see a lot of people updating their cockpits along with ADS-B. But we do believe we have a strong product line that should be able to continue those upgrades, especially for people who might have been cautious early on and are now coming forward to maybe complete a panel upgrade after they did some basic work with ADS-B earlier.

Ben Bollin -- Cleveland Research -- Analyst

Thank you.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ron Epstein from Bank of America. Your line is open.

Ron Epstein -- Bank of America. -- Analyst

Yeah. Good morning, guys. What are you seeing, Cliff, in terms of, how can I say, the sell into the aviation channel OE next year? Are you starting to see -- I mean, I would imagine you would the pickup in OE demand particularly sort of in the business jet segment?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think it's a little early to give specifics, but I would say that some of the platforms we're on that have been very strong, like latitude, we continue to to feel very positive with that going forward. With the longitude coming on for Garmin that will represent an incremental market share gain for us, so that should be a growth driver in 2019. And in general, the industry, as you know, has had a lot of activity. So barring some kind of an economic shock that might change the calculus of everything, I would say that our view is optimistic for the future.

Ron Epstein -- Bank of America. -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then just maybe a couple other points shifting gears here. When you think about the sell into the channel into the holiday season, how's that going, particularly when we think about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all that? Do you guys have any promotions going on, and I mean, what's your thoughts going into the holiday season?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think it's just like past years. Definitely, we have a lot of promotional activity that we're planning in terms of both cooperation with our retailers on sales as well as advertising. In terms of just overall activity, I would say it's about where we expected it to be. I think there's is really no surprises, and if anything, we're chasing demand and keeping our factories busy. So I think right now we feel optimistic about the quarter.

Ron Epstein -- Bank of America. -- Analyst

Okay, then maybe just one last financial question. When you think about your balance sheet, do you think you're effectively capitalizing -- I mean, are you using the balance sheet the best it can? And then finally, what are you going to do with all the cash?

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Yeah. So (inaudible) and looking at that, you know, our primary uses for our cash, one of which is paying reliable dividends. That's very important for us. We did increase our dividend this last year; the second of which is investments back into our business. An example of that is the facility expansion that we did here relates to our aviation manufacturing, our distribution center, as well as building out some existing space for office there. But then also acquisitions. Acquisitions, we have done the past, DeLorme, the Navionics, and such so to look at -- those are really the priorities for our cash on a go-forward basis.

Ron Epstein -- Bank of America. -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you very much.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Ron.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from Paul Coster for JPMorgan. Your line is now open.

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. This is Paul Chung on for Coster. Thanks for taking my questions. So just on your operating margins, they're usually seasonally weaker in 3Q, but it came in pretty strong. I know, Aviation was a big contributor, but anything else you want to point out?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, as I said, segment mix is a big factor. So I think it's difficult to look year-over-year just at the number and draw conclusions, really we have to look at how the pieces are moving within the segments.

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay. So then that would mean that your view on kind of seasonality in fiscal year '19 is unknown at the moment based on product mix?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think seasonality is yet a different consideration. Each segment has their own seasonality. And I think as the segments are growing and moving around each other that will impact obviously the overall combined margin of the business.

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay. And then my next question is on Auto. So how should we think about longer-term sustainable operating margins? How we kind of see a trough levels or is there I think kind of opportunity to cut OpEx in this segment? I mean, judging by your new win in China, it looks like you're still investing a bit.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think we are investing in the Tier 1 side of auto OEM and we're also investing in keeping our consumer products fresh. We're investing in the third area which is creating niche applications, the PND technology for other types of vehicles and navigation out there. So there is targeted things that we're doing, some ability to scale our expenses. But I think as the business transitions, especially if we get larger revenue contributions from OEM, the margin profile will obviously follow the mix of the segment and will tend to be in the kind of range that we're seeing now.

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay. And then a quick modeling question, what should we model for tax rate for ' 19? Thank you.

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Yeah. Certainly with regards to '19, we'll give that guidance in February; might give all of 2019 guidance, but I should mention that in 2018, we did see some favorable benefits that probably will not recur into '19, one of which was the R&D tax credit. So when we're doing the tax through the 2017, we identified some additional benefits. So we rolled through some of those impacted from catch up basically in '17 to '18. So, to give a little bit color on that, but will give you a better idea on 2019 effective tax rate when give all the guidance in February.

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Will Power from Baird. Your line's open.

Will Power -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay, great, thanks. Yeah, just a couple of additional questions. There was a continued strong growth in APAC; I guess, there has been a kind of a running theme -- I know fenix has been a big driver of that. Is that still the principal driver of the growth there? Or are you seeing uptake of new products that are potentially helping that? And given, Cliff, some of the commentary on increasing competition out of China, do you think you can continue to grow that region double digits?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So in terms of driving growth in APAC, definitely fenix is one part of that. Each country in each market is probably different. But we've also been able to grow with some of our other categories such as golf and in dive watch, as an example. In terms of China, that's definitely a new factor that's going to put some dynamics into the market, but we believe that we have a strong product lineup and plans around our product line that will help us to be competitive there. So, at this moment, again, it's probably the normal course of the competitiveness that we see.

Will Power -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay, all right. And then just coming back to Fitness, I know, you called out wearables as, I think, the key driver. Are there anyway to get any further granularity with respect trackers versus smartwatches, Forerunner, what the kind of the key pieces of the growth were in the quarter?

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think a lot of the growth is driven around the advanced wearable category, which is really our GPS-enabled vivo line of products. We also saw growth in what we call the basic tracker category, which we have a more unique product lineup there compared to the rest of the market, that our unique product offerings have helped us to grow that category as well. In terms of what we call the pure running market, we're kind of at the end of a product lifecycle there, and so I think going forward, as we introduce new products, we'll see upticks but we were relatively flat in terms of quarter on running.

Will Power -- Baird -- Analyst

Great. Okay , thank you.

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

I'm showing no further questions at this time. I would now like to turn the call back over to Teri Seck for closing remarks.

Teri Seck -- Manager of Investor Relations

Thanks, everyone, and have a great day. Doug and I will be available for calls the rest of the day. Thank you, bye.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in today's conference. This concludes the program. You may disconnect and have a wonderful day.

Duration: 35 minutes

Call participants:

Teri Seck -- Manager of Investor Relations

Clifton A. Pemble -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Doug Boessen -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Charlie Anderson -- Dougherty and Company -- Analyst

Robert Spingarn -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Joe Wittine -- Longbow Research -- Analyst

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Ben Bollin -- Cleveland Research -- Analyst

Ron Epstein -- Bank of America. -- Analyst

Paul Chung -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Will Power -- Baird -- Analyst

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