I believe the Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN) growth story is over. The digital mapping company has turned to self-preservation. It still manages to attract investors with with a 5% dividend yield — but how long can they keep it up? Its market share is dwindling, it is “expensive” by valuation standards, its earnings are expected to shrink and its dividend payout is questionable.
Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN) shares tumbled 10% earlier this month after offering weak guidance to investors. The company now expects to see 2013 EPS in the range of $2.30 to $2.40, whereas analysts were hoping for $2.83. Even with this big fall in the stock’s price it still remains overvalued. Compared to industry comps, including Trimble Navigation and Cubic, Garmin is above the industry on a number of valuation multiples.
Price to Operating Cash Flow
Industry Average 10.1x
Here’s how Wall Street expects future EPS to come in, notice the contraction I mentioned.
2012 EPS $2.85A
2013 EPS $2.56E
2014 EPS $2.62E
This expected dwindling of earnings will put its dividend payout ratio, the percent of earnings its paying out in the form of dividends, to 70%. This relatively high payout ratio will strain the company’s ability to continue spending on research and development and marketing, which have been keys to the company’s past success — R&D for finding and developing new products and marketing for sales. This in turn will pressure Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN)’s ability to grow and bring up issues of a possible dividend cut. The company has already seen a string of dividend cuts the last few years…
Who’s to blame for the GPS decline?
The big culprit of the GPS market decline has been a rise in smartphone usage. This has led to cannibalization of the GPS market and will only further wreak havoc on the industry. The global smartphone market will continue to see robust growth, expected to grow 22.5% in 2013, driven by the emerging markets of India, Indonesia and China, which precisely is where Garmin hopes to expand. I believe that smartphones will beat Garmin’s GPS devices to these markets and only further hamper the Garmin’s growth (read more about who Garmin’s taking a back seat to).
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) appears to have a strong hold on Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN)’s navigation market, thanks in part to its Google Maps application. There was also much excitement when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)s iOS decided to bring Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps back as its default map app. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) also made recent announcements concerning its plans to make a trio of map and navigation apps across all its Windows Phone 8 devices. Smartphones are becoming an increasing part of everyday life, and this includes their presence in the car. MirrorLink hopes to offers seamless connectivity between a smartphone and a vehicle’s entertainment system, which streamlines the replacement of navigation devices with smartphones.