Garmin to Bid for Tele Atlas

——— update below; original post 7:30 am EDT————

The plan: a Dec 4 bid of 2.3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in cash for Tele Atlas. That’s the day the TomTom bid expires. That’s 15% more than the Tele Atlas bid. European stocks loved the idea - sending TA up nearly 14% in morning trading. TomTom was down nearly 12%.
- MarketWatch

—- update 4:30 pm EDT————

With a few hours behind this announcement and Garmin’s earnings announcement this morning, we can get a bit of perspective.

First off, what did Garmin say in its earnings report?

- third-quarter profit rose 57 percent, beating estimates (88 cents actual vs. 82 from analysts)
- all sectors were up in sales, with automotive in the lead
- the future is bright, with new products coming out, but margins would drop a bit
- per share profit predictions for the year went up to $3.40 from last quarter’s prediction of more than $3.15
- Cliff Pemble has been appointed chief operating officer, freeing CEO Min Kao to work on other things like business development
- share rose to a near record of of $125.68 Wednesday afternoon

- AP and Garmin PR

What are analysts saying?

“Apple and Nokia’s pending entry into navigation has GPS giant Garmin plotting its own defensive move.” [Apple is moving in navigation: next iPhone will have Broadcom chips for “assisted GPS”]

“Garmin’s run as purely a GPS device maker may be headed in a new direction.”

- Scott Moritz at The Street

“Satnav-enabled devices are sometimes sold without any onboard map information initially, as its cost is typically more signifcant than that of the receiver hardware itself.”

- The Register

“In trying to snatch up Tele Atlas, however, the two market leaders appear to be bracing for the 100 original design manufacturers from Taiwan and Korea that are expected to try to grab a portion of the sales boom. The biggest threat comes from Mitac of Taiwan, which owns the Mio brand and recently bought Navman.”

- Antone Gonsalves at InformationWeek

“Digital map data, while important, is not the only element needed for success in the Location Aware future. What are the missed opportunities from using so much capital to wrestle over map data?”

- Mike Ippoliti in a ABI Research press release

Published Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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