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Garmin Unveils Vivofit 2; Partners Designer Jonathan Adler - Analyst Blog

Garmin Ltd.’s (GRMN) unit, Garmin International’s success with its fitness tracker — Vivofit — continues. The company recently announced the launch of Vivofit 2, a lower-end wristband, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015.

Vivofit — Garmin’s first slimline fitness tracker launched in Jan 2014 — had a strong start in the rapidly growing activity-tracking category. At the CES, Garmin gave some updates to the original device and announce the partnership with potter and designer, Jonathan Adler, to design new Vivofit bands.

The new Vivofit 2 features audible ‘move’ alerts that remind users when it is time to get up and move. An activity timer allows users to track and analyze individual workouts and the new stopwatch feature records timed activities with or without a heart rate monitor. Also, the new backlight helps users to check activity status even in the dark.

Moreover, the tracker will be available in more colors and patterns — a few designed by Adler. Additionally, the new bands will be made from stainless steel and leather, a mix of watch-link and in more feminine bracelet styles.

The tracker runs on replaceable battery with approximately a year of battery life and water resistance of up to 50 meters. Users can set personalized fitness goals, track activity levels measure calories burnt and monitor heart rate. The device provides inactivity alerts as well.

Priced at $129.99, Vivofit 2 will be available in four colors. However, the one fitted with a heart rate monitor will cost $169.99. The new collection of bands and Vivofit 2 are expected to be shipped in the first quarter of this year.

The worldwide provider of navigation, communications and information devices has set a trend of developing active lifestyle products that have become integral to customers’ lives. Its fitness devices including GPS-enabled running and cycling products are gaining worldwide popularity. Vivofit 2 is also expected to enhance users’ lives and promote healthy and active lifestyles.

We believe that these product introductions and strong focus on quality content offer Garmin a competitive advantage. Also, new products and the company’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) approach will continue to expand margins.

Garmin is an OEM of GPS-based and other electronic devices. The company’s third-quarter 2014 earnings of 76 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 72 cents on the back of strong growth in new products that are increasingly diversifying its business. Its revenues of $706.3 million were down 9.2% sequentially but up 9.7% year over year.

The Fitness segment increased 43.4% year over year, driven by the ramp up in new products, including activity trackers and running products.

Stock to Consider

Garmin currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the technology sector may consider Universal Electronics Inc. (UEIC), GrafTech International Ltd. (GTI) and Research Frontiers Inc (REFR). While Universal Electronics sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), GrafTech and Research Frontiers carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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