What happened

Shares of Garmin (GRMN 0.52%) jumped 17% on Wednesday after the GPS technology company announced better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2018 results and upbeat forward guidance.

Garmin's quarterly revenue climbed 4% year over year to $932 million, translating into a 26% increase in pro forma earnings to $193.6 million, or $1.02 per share. Analysts, on average, were only expecting earnings of $0.80 per share on revenue of $891.3 million.

Colorful stock market charts indicating gains

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Within Garmin's top line, a 28% decline in automotive segment revenue (to $147.6 million) was more than offset by a combined 13% increase from its aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness products. In particular, outdoor product revenue climbed 25% thanks to "significant contributions" from the company's adventure watch lines.

CEO Cliff Pemble called it a "remarkable year of revenue and operating income growth," and added: "Entering 2019, we see many opportunities ahead and believe that we are well positioned to seize these opportunities with a strong lineup of products across all of our segments."

Check out the latest Garmin earnings call transcript.  

Now what

For full-year 2019, Garmin expects revenue of $3.5 billion, up from $3.35 billion in 2018 and well above consensus estimates for $3.43 billion, assuming automotive declines will only partially offset growth from its remaining segments. That should translate into 2019 earnings per share of $3.70, up slightly from pro forma earnings of $3.69 per share in 2018 but again well above the $3.52 per share Wall Street was modeling.

In the end, while Garmin's consolidated growth isn't exactly dropping any jaws, this was a straightforward quarterly beat followed by encouraging guidance relative to expectations.