CAYMAN ISLANDS, April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) today announced a record quarter ended March 29, 2008.
Executive overview from Dr. Min Kao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:
"We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, particularly given the general slowdown in the global economy. Demand for our automotive/mobile products continued beyond the traditionally strong fourth quarter holiday season, with another quarter of robust triple-digit growth. While the first quarter is typically our slowest quarter, we were nonetheless able to achieve healthy growth in each of our business segments and each geographic area.
We look forward to a successful second quarter, with an array of new and exciting portable navigation and outdoor/fitness devices becoming available, including:
These new product introductions represent significant advances in technology, with features and functions that we believe customers will find compelling. Furthermore, we are in continuing talks with a number of wireless carriers in our primary markets who are interested in nuvifone. We believe this new device will change the way people connect, communicate, and navigate their mobile world. Nuvifone also marks a significant step for our company, and one that we feel positions us for long-term, sustainable growth.
Response to our revolutionary new line of marine products continues to be very positive. We are very pleased with the 30% growth we have achieved in the first quarter. The expansion of our product lines, including marine instruments and large screen, network chartplotters have expanded our OEM and aftermarket marine opportunities.
The new Colorado series of handheld devices and our redesigned Forerunner 405 have generated a great deal of excitement in our outdoor/fitness business. These products are becoming available just as people are venturing outdoors again, and we expect to announce additional new devices in this business segment in the coming months.
Our aviation segment is poised for new growth, thanks to new products and innovations like the FAA's supplemental type certification for Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT(TM)), which is designed to integrate with our acclaimed G1000 avionics suite. This technology presents a 3D depiction of terrain, obstacles and traffic on the G1000's primary flight-display so that the avionics panel replicates what pilots would see outside the cockpit on a clear day -- another leap forward in situational awareness. These announcements as well as our continuing work to roll out additional OEM platforms, including the Embraer Phenom 100, have us optimistic about aviation opportunities during the second half of 2008."
Financial overview from Kevin Rauckman, Chief Financial Officer:
"Overall we are pleased with our financial results for the first quarter, and we remain focused on the operational efficiency of our business," said Kevin Rauckman, chief financial officer of Garmin Ltd. "Our revenue and earnings per share during the first quarter grew 35% and 5% respectively. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, EPS for the quarter grew 17%, from $0.59 to $0.69. Automotive/mobile segment's first quarter revenues increased 43% compared to the prior year and our marine segment revenue grew 30%, thanks to the continued acceptance of our new product lineup.
Gross margin for the overall business remained stronger than we had anticipated in the first quarter. The auto/mobile segment margin stayed flat at 43% when compared to the first quarter of 2007, as we achieved raw material cost savings and operational efficiencies. Our marine gross margins improved to 58%, compared to 49% during first quarter 2007, thanks to heavy interest in our new and innovative product mix. Our outdoor/fitness category and aviation segment gross margins remained stable during the first quarter at 53% and 64%, respectively.
Operating margin declined 130 basis points in our auto/mobile segment in the first quarter of 2008 when compared with the year-ago quarter but were steady at 24% when compared to the fourth quarter 2007. Our marine segment operating margins improved to 32%, compared with 26% one year ago. Operating margins declined in our aviation segment to 33%, which is attributable to additional R&D investments in the growing business jet market. Likewise, our outdoor/fitness segment declined to 27%, compared to 35% in the first quarter of 2007, which is attributable to discounts on some of our older products to make way for our newer fitness and outdoor handheld devices.
We maintained our strong cash flow and cash position. We generated $166 million of free cash flow in the first quarter of 2008, resulting in a cash and marketable securities balance of $1.2 billion at the end of the quarter.
We experienced an increase in the effective tax rate to 19 percent for the first quarter and we now expect this rate for fiscal 2008. The primary reason for the increase was a change in tax law related to the repatriation of earnings from our Taiwan subsidiary."
Fiscal 2008 Outlook
We remain optimistic about the long-term success of our business and our ability to serve customers and distributors around the world. While we are pleased with our strong performance in the first quarter, it is important to note that the global economic slowdown has impacted companies across the board. We will continue to monitor the economic climate closely. As in previous years, we intend to provide a formal update to our fiscal 2008 financial expectations during the second quarter 2008 earnings conference call.
Net income (earnings) per share, excluding foreign currency
Management believes that net income per share before the impact of foreign currency translation gain or loss is an important measure. The majority of the company's consolidated foreign currency translation gain or loss results from translation into New Taiwan dollars at the end of each reporting period of the significant cash and marketable securities, receivables and payables held in U.S. dollars by the company's Taiwan subsidiary. Such translation is required under GAAP because the functional currency of this subsidiary is New Taiwan dollars. However, there is minimal cash impact from such foreign currency translation and management expects that the Taiwan subsidiary will continue to hold the majority of its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities in U.S. dollars. Accordingly, earnings per share before the impact of foreign currency translation gain or loss allows an assessment of the company's operating performance before the non-cash impact of the position of the U.S. dollar versus the New Taiwan dollar, which permits a consistent comparison of results between periods.
Free cash flow
Management believes that free cash flow is an important financial measure because it represents the amount of cash provided by operations that is available for investing and defines it as operating cash flow less capital expenditures for property and equipment.
The following table contains a reconciliation of GAAP net cash provided by operating activities to free cash flow.
A phone recording will be available for three business days following the earnings call and can be accessed by dialing (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291 and utilizing the access code #42452953. An archive of the live webcast will be available until May 30, 2008 on the Garmin website at http://www.garmin.com. To access the replay, click on the Investor Relations link and click over to the Events Calendar page.
This release includes projections and other forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Any statements regarding the company's estimated earnings and revenue for fiscal 2008, the Company's expected segment revenue growth rate, margins, new products to be introduced in 2008 and the company's plans and objectives are forward-looking statements. The forward- looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of risk factors affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors that are described in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2007 filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of Garmin's 2007 Form 10-K can be downloaded from http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html.
The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin Ltd. and its subsidiaries have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications since 1989 -- most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin's products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at http://www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin, nuvi, and Forerunner are registered trademarks, and nuvifone and Colorado and are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.
All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Garmin Ltd.