Garmin's Affordable Radar


Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), a worldwide provider of navigation, communications, and information devices, most of which are enabled by global positioning system (GPS) technology has launched a new affordable weather radar called GWX 70 for the general avionics market.

GWX 70 radar is better than its predecessors due to its enhanced range of readings, which coupled with real-time weather analysis in the cockpit makes it a reliable device in aircraft. The main enhancement is with respect to its ability to detect and warn against turbulence. This would therefore increase the safety and comfort of journeys.

The technology is not new -- it was earlier available on high-end commercial aircraft, personal and business jets. Garmin has changed all that, extending the technology to all kinds of aircraft that can easily fit the advanced weather radar.

The new radar device is an addition to Garmin’s product portfolio which already includes traffic advisory systems and traffic collision avoidance systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, instrument landing system (:ILS) receivers, surveillance products, audio panels and cockpit datalink systems.

As per IBIS World, revenue for the Global Airlines industry is estimated to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8% from 2007-2012 to $633.0 billion. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects the number of commercial aircraft to grow from 7,096 in 2010 to 10,523 in 2031, an average annual growth rate of 1.9% or 163 aircraft annually.

Garmin is well positioned in the aviation market, although recessionary pressures have affected this business. But Garmin has continued with its product launches right through the year, including the GTN TM 650 and 750 series touchscreen-controlled integrated VHF navigation receiver, G1000H TM integrated glass flight deck system, aera® 795 and 796 touchscreen portable aviation navigation devices among others.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, revenue from the aviation segment was $73.0 million (13.0% of revenue), which was up 2.1% sequentially, and 5.4% year over year.

Currently, Garmin Ltd. has a Zacks Rank of #4, implying a short-term Sell recommendation.

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