Financial overview from Kevin Rauckman, Chief Financial Officer:
“While fourth quarter results did not meet our expectations, we remain excited about the long-term opportunities that are developing as we continue to invest in growing industries and expand our strong position in others,” said Kevin Rauckman, Chief Financial Officer of Garmin Ltd. “With dedicated associates and a diversified business model, we will execute around a 2013 business plan focused on innovation and efficiency to drive long-term growth.
Gross margin for the overall business in the fourth quarter was 49% which represents an improvement from the fourth quarter 2011 level of 48%. The improvement resulted from strong margins in aviation where a variety of factors contributed including product mix and a 2011 OEM program contribution that negatively impacted margins. The automotive/mobile segment gross margin was consistent at 38%.
Operating margin for the overall business was 19% in the current quarter as improved gross margins were offset by deleveraging of operating expenses. Total operating expenses were down $10 million on a year-over-year basis. Advertising expenses decreased by $9 million as volume-related cooperative advertising declined. Selling, general and administrative and research and development expenses were basically flat year-over-year.
We generated $163 million of free cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $646 million for the full year. Our strong cash generation will continue to fund significant returns to our shareholders through our quarterly dividend and recently approved share buyback program. The strong cash and marketable securities balance of approximately $2.9 billion at the end of the year also affords us the opportunity to pursue acquisitions that fit within our corporate framework.”
Dividend Recommendation and Share Repurchase Program
The Board intends to recommend to the shareholders for approval at the annual meeting to be held on June 7, 2013 a cash dividend in the amount of $1.80 per share (subject to possible adjustment based on the total amount of the dividend in Swiss Francs as approved at the annual meeting), payable in four equal installments. The Board currently anticipates the scheduling of the dividend in four installments as follows:
$s per share
|June 28, 2013||June 18, 2013||$0.45|
|September 30, 2013||September 16, 2013||$0.45|
|December 31, 2013||December 16, 2013||$0.45|
|March 31, 2014||March 17, 2014||$0.45|