Garmin’s 2018 Financial Results Are In


Garmin’s results are in for Q4.2018 and thus for the full calendar year as well. As you can see from the table further below the results look solid overall. There’s not too much worth commenting about on most of the numbers themselves but let’s focus on those areas of interest that you and I probably share – which are Garmin’s OUTDOOR (Fenix) and FITNESS divisions.

The Outdoor segment includes the INSTINCT as well as the FENIX lines.

I suspect that the FENIX 5/5 PLUS have both had a solid year, perhaps contributing nicely to the division’s 16% year on year growth. However Q4 saw the INSTINCT hit the shelves and, based on traffic and clicks on this site, I would say that the interest in the INSTINCT has been good. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Garmin said that the INSTINCT was one of the cornerstones of the very successful Q4. I can only guess that the success of INSTINCT will likely continue through 2019.

The Fitness area is probably more of a concern for Garmin. I suspect that competition at the cheaper end of products is hitting Garmin fairly hard. And at the upper end there has been no replacement for the 935 triathlon watch (Hint Garmin 945 due soon). Yet the upper end of the Fitness line has been bolstered with the mildly interesting Vivoactive 3 Music LTE. Similarly their Forerunner 235 is in need of a MUSIC-CIQ-LTE update. The same argument for the need for updated devices could be applied to the Edge devices….where are the Edge 530 (remember 520 Plus) and Edge 830?

Some might argue that the FITNESS division’s stagnation has necessitated action and hurried the TACX acquisition that we recently heard about.

I don’t buy that line of thought…at all.

My suspicion is that Garmin was one of the companies that we know held back on announcing further products at CES. I suspect we will soon see something very interesting with the Garmin triathlon offering but whether that is preceded with, or followed by, new Edge units or new Forerunners will be down to the machinations of Garmin marketing and the readiness of the products that are surely already VERY close to market as I write.

Proper dual frequency Galileo devices for 2020 and a new ELEVATE iteration (2019?) should put Garmin’s sensor accuracy to the levels of where it should have been a couple of years ago. And we already know that Garmin’s Music offering is bordering on ‘superior’ when it comes to sport usage, add to that a tranche of devices that need music adding as well as the ability to add an extended range of LTE-based services on top of basic music provision and Garmin FITNESS’s stagnant Q4, I suspect, will just be a little blip in an upward trend.

Indeed Garmin estimate 13% growth in FITNESS for 2019 and 10% growth for OUTDOOR. So don’t get excited about a Fenix 6 until 2020….sorry, just sayin’. Remember that if Garmin fail to hit these 13% and 10% aspirations their share price will be hit hard….so they could be a little on the conservative side…just in case.

My few readers in APAC should be the ones who are getting most excited. Whilst your market is half the size of EMEA and a third the size of N.America, you can be sure that Garmin expects 2018’s stellar growth in your market to continue. So we might see more specific products targetted to the specific commercial constraints in your GEO like the special CIQ-free 235 version from 2017 and we might see a better focus on improving customer service.

Bottom Line: Garmin are expecting to keep growing significantly and it WILL be from a mix of existing and NEW products. Growth will be most notable in APAC.

(in thousands,13-Weeks Ended52-Weeks Ended
except per share data)December 29,December 30,Yr over YrDecember 29,December 30,Yr over Yr
Net sales$932,108$897,3194%$3,347,444$3,121,5607
Gross margin %58.956.159.157.6
Operating income %23.920.423.321.9
GAAP diluted EPS$1$0.7533%$3.66$3.76-3
Pro forma diluted EPS (1)$1.02$0.8126%$3.69$3.0222





“Revenue from the outdoor segment grew 25% in the quarter with significant contributions from adventure watches. Gross and operating margins improved to 67% and 38%, respectively, resulting in 31% operating income growth. During the quarter, we launched Instinct, our newest line of adventure watch, and the GPSMAP 66 series of outdoor handhelds.”


“Revenue from the fitness segment was flat in the quarter compared to a strong prior year quarter. Gross and operating margins increased to 52% and 21%, resulting in 2% operating income growth. We recently introduced the vívoactive® 3 Music with 4G LTE, bringing connected safety features to the wrist. The pending acquisition of Tacx is an exciting opportunity to expand into the year-round indoor cycling and training market.”


Global Growth

13-Weeks Ended52-Weeks Ended
December 29,December 30,Yr over YrDecember 29,December 30,Yr over Yr
Net sales$932,108$897,3194%$3,347,444$3,121,5607%

Source: All data and quoted commentary from

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