Apple and Google enter automotive navigation marketWhen competitors enter new markets with disruptive technologies or pricing, it is worthwhile to pay attention. New competition can sometimes easily destroy incumbent companies which are market leaders. Think of a recent case of how Apple Inc. ( AAPL) and iPhone quickly destroyed Nokia Corporation ( NOK) ( NOK1V) HEL:NOK1V that had more than a 50% market share in the mobile phone market. In June 2013, Google Inc ( GOOG) completed acquisition of Waze, an Israeli startup that develops mobile map and navigation applications, for almost a billion dollars. The acquisition, as reported by Google, is expected to enhance the user experience by offering real time traffic and navigation information. Google Inc ( GOOG) is expected to announce a few new initiatives in the area of partnerships with car manufacturers and development of systems based on Google Inc ( GOOG)'s Android software. For example, Google partnered with German car maker Audi to integrate its Android operating system in the dashboard of future Audi models. At the same time, Apple Inc. ( AAPL) is making its own inroads into the automotive space and is working with car makers to embed its iOS's Maps and Siri services into cars.
Company overviewGarmin is a leading worldwide provider of navigation, communication and information devices and applications, most of which are powered by Global Positioning System "GPS" technology. Garmin designs, develops, manufactures and markets a diverse family of hand-held, portable and fixed-mount GPS-enabled devices for the automotive, outdoor, fitness, marine, and general aviation markets. The automotive segment is a major source of profits at Garmin and is responsible for about 55% of company's total revenue and 37% of operating income.
Garmin's shares have a low free float of 59.5% as 40.5% of shares are held by insiders - the company's officers, directors, and their families. Short interest in the stock is relatively high - Garmin Ltd. ( GRMN) is the second-largest shorted component in the NASDAQ 100, with short interest amounting to 16 "days to cover", 8% of total shares outstanding or 14% of free float shares.