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Garmin's GPS for Boaters

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Worldwide provider of navigation, communications and information devices, Garmin Ltd. (GRMN - Free Report) has announced the launch of quatix, a GPS watch for boating enthusiasts. The watch is priced at $450.0 and will be available soon worldwide.

Garmin’s new watch quatix offers the features required for both navigational and sailing purposes. The watch will provide vital information like tidal information, COG (course over ground), SOG (speed over ground), and VMG (velocity made good), along with alerts for speed and anchor drag. It is also equipped with ABC sensors, i.e., altimeter, barometer and compass.

The watch not only provides important information to mariners, but it also looks after the safety of users through its MOB feature. This feature enables one to send alarm signals to the captain of the vessel when he/she falls overboard.

The watch will be particularly useful in competitive sailing. Although professional sailing is in the nascent stage, it is gaining popularity through international events like Volvo Ocean Race (one of the toughest races). It also features in the Olympics.

Garmin is well positioned in the marine market, although recessionary pressures have affected this business. Garmin has continued with its product launches right through the year, including the GDL TM 40 cellular marine weather receiver, the GHS TM 20 and 20i wireless remote handsets for Garmin’s VHF 200 and 300 series marine radios and an update to the GHP TM 12 marine autopilot. It is expected that new products and its OEM approach will continue to expand margins for the company.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, Garmin reported revenues of $672.4 million, down 6.4% sequentially and 0.8% year over year, helped by particular strength in the outdoor and aviation segment. The Marine segment accounted for 7% of the revenues, down 34.0% sequentially and 6.8% from the year-ago quarter. The decline from the year-ago quarter was on account of weak economic conditions across the world and particularly in Europe.

Garmin, which is expected to report fourth-quarter results next month has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, other technology stocks, such as ON Semiconductor (ONNN), which is to report early next month and Linear Technology Corp (LLTC), which reported last week represent better investment opportunities.

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