Logitech lifts guidance, outlines share buyback

Reuters

By Silke Koltrowitz

ZURICH, March 6 (Reuters) - Computer accessories maker Logitech raised its guidance for the fiscal year starting in April on Thursday, sending its shares up more than 6 percent.

It signalled its focus on accessories for tablets and smartphones was starting to pay off and said it would launch a share buyback programme worth $250 million, expected to be completed in three years.

The firm has launched new products after the rise of portable devices hit demand for traditional computer mice and webcams. Chief Executive Officer Bracken Darrell said in a statement he was confident Logitech was on the right track with its turnaround strategy.

"Consumers are showing their approval of our renewed emphasis on product design. We're building momentum in our growth categories and we're becoming a faster and more profitable Logitech," Darrell said.

Logitech is aiming for $2.16 billion in sales and $145 million in non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)operating income in fiscal year 2014/15, up from a forecast for $2.1 billion in sales and $90 million in operating income given in May last year, the group said in a statement ahead of a day of presentations to investors.

In the current fiscal year ending this month, Logitech expects $2.1 billion in sales and $125 million in operating income, at the upper end of the outlook provided in January, the group said.

Analysts at Zuercher KB said this meant Logitech had reached its financial targets one year earlier than planned.

Shares in the group rose 6.4 percent to 15 francs by 0847 GMT, outperforming a 0.7 percent higher Swiss market.

"In a hypothetical scenario in which Logitech achieves sales of $2.6 billion by 2018 with a sustainable 10 percent non-GAAP margin, the shares would have 20 percent upside from our current target (of 15.5 Swiss francs)", Vontobel analyst Michael Foeth said in a note.

Logitech's recent product launches include protective cases for notebooks and tablets, a mobile gaming console to be used with a smartphone and mobile speakers.

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