Shares of consumer electronics veteran Logitech International (NASDAQ:LOGI) are off to the races today. The stock opened nearly 8% higher, following in the footsteps of similar gains on the Swiss exchange that the Lausanne-based company calls home.
The catalyst behind these fantastic gains was, of course, Logitech's rock-solid third-quarter report. The results, which hit the newswires in the middle of the night, showed Logitech overcoming massive currency exchange headwinds to crush analyst estimates across the board.
Third-quarter sales rose 1% year over year to land at $634 million. Removing the impact of unfavorable exchange rate movements, Logitech would have seen revenues jumping 5% higher. Analysts would have settled for 1% lower sales, or $622 million.
Adjusted earnings grew 17% larger, stopping at $0.41 per share. Here, the Wall Street crowd would have been satisfied with just $0.32 per share.
Logitech crushed expectations in no uncertain terms, delivering growth while analysts expected shrinkage on both the top and bottom lines.
Management followed up on this success by raising its own operating profit projections for the full fiscal year from $170 million to $185 million. That's in spite of continued exchange rate resistance, and points to about $9 million of operating income in the fourth quarter.
So, what's the deal with all this currency talk? Well, the U.S. dollar has been rising in value recently as compared to other major currencies. One dollar buys you about 20% more euros today than it did in May 2014:
Logitech reports its financial results in U.S. dollars, but about two-thirds of the company's sales come from Asian, South American, and European markets. That's why a strong dollar tends to lower Logitech's dollar-based results, while a weak dollar lifts them.
The currency roadblocks only make Logitech's fundamental business performance all the more impressive.
Logitech's sales were stale at best in aging product lines such as standard keyboards and pointing devices, remote controls, and PC audio products. Tablet accessory revenues declined 28%, thanks to "a declining market for Apple iPad shipments."
But sales of gaming-oriented PC accessories rose by 21% year over year, led by a 50% rise in gaming headsets. And mobile speakers saw sales jump 80%, as consumers search for high-quality sound systems for their handy smartphones and tablets.
So, Logitech just gave us a great snapshot of how consumers are changing their computing habits across the globe. All of the trends I just mentioned were worldwide in nature, spread fairly evenly across Logitech's three geographic segments.
The company is finding its stride in newfangled growth markets like mobile audio. That being said, Logitech is notoriously inconsistent when it comes to executing on its core business. This frustrating stock has more than doubled over the last two years, but lost 8% of its value in 52 weeks even when including today's strong gains.
Maybe Logitech's struggling management is finally getting its act together. But one good quarter doesn't prove much, and I'd rather see several impressive reports in a row before taking a position in Logitech myself. There are too many great opportunities in the mobile computing market to risk my retirement capital on a sudden flash in the pan.