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Garmin Flying High

Can navigation devices maker Garmin (GRMN) maintain its torrid pace?

The company, which reports its third-quarter earnings Wednesday, scorched analyst expectations in the second quarter when it posted earnings of $1 a share against estimates of 74 cents.

Garmin's stock is up 43.5% in the three months since July 30 and up nearly 120% this year. Currently its shares are hovering near the 52-week high of $125.68. The stock was down $1.20, or 0.9%, to $122.57 in recent trading.

Despite fears of a slow summer, analysts expect Garmin to beat the Street's third-quarter expectations because of increased demand for personal navigation devices, strong growth in the company's market share in the U.S. and Europe, and a slower-than-expected decline in the gross margin for its products.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $683.17 million for the quarter. The company posted earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $408 million a year ago.

Looking ahead, analysts estimate fourth-quarter earnings of $1.01 a share, up from 87 cents a year ago. They predict revenue of $986.38 million, up significantly from $611.22 in fiscal 2006. For the fiscal year, analysts expect revenue of $2.9 billion and an EPS of $3.42.

Analysts will also focus on Garmin's expectations for the holiday sales season.

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