Harman to Unveil New Speaker Dock


Harman International Industries Inc.’s (HAR) popular speakers brand, JBL, is set to unveil its latest portable speaker dock with a Lightning connector for the Apple (AAPL) devices at the International Consumer Electronics Show (“CES”), which is scheduled from January 8th to January 11th 2013.

Named as JBL OnBeat Mini, the Lightning speaker dock provides approximately 5 hours of playback when run on batteries. The device is compatible with latest Apple devices that include iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPod Touch.

The device can also be used to charge the aforementioned devices by using the AC adapter. Moreover, the device can be used to power and play other devices through built-in USB connector.

The OnBeat Mini would be JBL’s third addition to the Lightning connector equipped speaker docks. The other two are - JBL OnBeat Venue LT and JBL OnBeat Micro. JBL OnBeat Mini is priced at $149 and would be available from March 2013. The device is available in black and white colors.

Harman’s launch of iOS compatible devices should act a positive catalyst as Apple’s devices have a steady demand.

We believe that Harman’s expanding new manufacturing capacities, growing product pipeline, solid patent portfolio, new awards as well as launch of new products will boost top line and profitability over the long term.

However, the company’s top line shrunk 5% year over year in the first three months of fiscal 2013 primarily due to weak performance across all the operating segments. Harman continues to face tough competition from Rockford Corp., Panasonic Corp. (PC) and Sony Corp. (SNE), which may hurt its profitability going forward. Additionally, the sluggish macroeconomic environment would act as headwind going forward.

Currently Harman has as Zacks #4 Rank (Sell).

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