Outdoor financials: Garmin’s Q4 earnings drop 52 percent, plus Crocs, West Marine

Despite a 15 percent increase in outdoor/fitness segment sales, Garmin says its fourth-quarter earnings fell 52 percent as Smartphones continue to eat into its personal navigator market share. Plus, Crocs returns to profit in Q4 and West Marine posts wider loss.
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Garmin’s Q4 earnings drop 52 percent

Despite a 15 percent increase in outdoor/fitness segment sales, Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 52 percent as Smartphones continued to eat into its personal navigator market share.

The company also issued a weaker-than-expected forecast, as it predicted that sales of global positioning system devices will continue to tumble. Revenue from its dashboard navigators fell 31 percent during the most recent quarter.

The company earned $132.9 million, or $0.68 per share, versus earnings of $278.4 million, or $1.38 per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue fell 21 percent to $837.7 million from $1.06 billion.

Garmin had partnered with hardware maker Asustek Computer to make Garmin-branded phones that had GPS radios and ran Google's Android software, but wasn’t able to compete. In November, Garmin said that it was "winding down" its Smartphone business.

As its personal navigators have become less relevant, Garmin has shifted its attention toward other, smaller markets. It makes fitness and outdoor gadgets including watches for runners that record distance and speed, and also sells GPS hardware to plane and boat makers.

During the most recent quarter, revenue in its outdoor/fitness segment increased 15 percent to $171 million, aviation revenue added 10 percent to $71 million and its marine business grew 9 percent to $37 million.

But these segments combined generated only $279 million in revenue -- half of the $559 million generated from the personal navigation business.

The company said it expects sales of personal navigators to continue falling in 2011, pushing overall revenue lower. The company expects to earn between $2.25 and $2.50 per share this year on revenue between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion.

For the full year, Garmin’s net income was $585 million, or $2.95 per share, compared with $704 million, or $3.50 per share, in 2009. Annual revenue fell 9 percent to $2.69 billion.

Crocs returns to profit in Q4

Strong retail and online sales helped swing Crocs’ (Nasdaq: CROX) profit into the black for the fourth quarter.

For the quarter ended Dec. 21, it earned $4.7 million, or $0.05 per share, versus a loss of $11.4 million, or $0.13 per share, a year earlier.

It added that the year-ago period was partly weighed down by some restructuring and asset impairment charges.

Revenue climbed 32 percent to $179.2 million from $136 million. The company noted solid sales results in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Retail sales rose 36 percent in the quarter, while online sales surged 44 percent.

For the year, Crocs earned $67.7 million, or $0.76 per share, compared with a loss of $42.1 million, or $0.49 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue improved to $789.7 million from $645.8 million.

For the first quarter, Crocs predicts earnings of about $0.19 per share on revenue of approximately $215 million.

West Marine posts wider loss

West Marine (Nasdaq: WMAR) posted a wider fourth-quarter loss, citing several one-time items that boosted its results in the prior-year period.

For the quarter ended Jan. 1, net loss was $19.8 million, or $0.88 a share, compared with a loss of $12.8 million, or $0.57 a share, in the comparable period of 2009.

The company said its prior-year quarter's results included special items that reduced the company's loss by $7.4 million.

Revenue rose to $107.3 million from $103.9 million a year earlier. Same-store sales increased 1.6 percent.

For the full year, the company reported a profit of $13.2 million, or $0.57 a share, compared with net income of $12.4 million, or $0.55 a share, in 2009. Revenue climbed to $622.8 million from $588.4 million the year before.

In its outlook for 2011, the company said it expects same-store sales to be flat to up about 1 percent. It projects 2011 revenue will range from $629 million to $635 million.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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