Everyone is looking for the next something -- the next Microsoft
At this point, I'm wondering whether Garmin Ltd.
Garmin reported its second-quarter earnings yesterday, redeeming tepid guidance earlier this year by clearly vaulting recent estimates. Revenue was up 32% from a year ago to $189.7 million, and profits were a meaty $56.3 million. While the company's net income benefited from foreign currency by $3.6 million, operational performance still beat the most optimistic of analysts.
Thanks to excess cash generated, Garmin also announced a $0.50 dividend for shareholders this year, repeating last year's dividend (well ahead of the new trend with technology companies -- thanks for finally coming around, Microsoft). This is on top of a 3 million share repurchase program.
The good news sent Garmin's shares up over 12% to close just shy of $38. This is still a far cry from their 52-week high of more than $59 reached back in January -- but that's the good news. Investors now have a chance to pick up a quality company at a better price.
The management of Garmin is refreshingly forthcoming about all areas of the business -- good and bad. In the first quarter, the company chose to highlight and explain a disappointing drop in gross margins -- from 60% to 51%. While many companies would sweep this blip away into the dark corners of a report, Garmin went as far as describing the drop as "meaningfully lower."
While Garmin's chance at being the next something exists, it's certainly not a sure bet. Competition across the entire GPS sector is increasing, which will put further pressure on profit margins and operations. The company has to execute well and stay three steps ahead of competitors such as Trimble Navigation
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Fool contributor Dave Mock is putting a Garmin GPS on the top of his Christmas list this year (hint hint, wink wink). He owns shares of Garmin and Intel.