One of the most popular items on Christmas lists this year were global positioning system [GPS] devices, also known as personal navigation devices [PND]. Many stores sold out of them in early December. What these devices do, in very simple terms, is use satellites to determine your longitude and latitude, to tell you where you are and how to get where you want to go.
Although they are primarily used in boats and aircraft, their fastest growing market is automobiles. Take a look and see if any of these GPS-related stocks can guide your portfolio in the right direction.
Many of the the GPS companies are privately held, such as Magellan Navigation, Inc., one of the largest manufactures, along with a couple of the smaller players, such as DeLorme and Rand McNally & Company.
One big player in this industry is Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN) which trades on NASDAQ. According to what the company reported in its latest earnings call it has about 50% of the North American personal GPS market. The stock has a P/E of 31, a PEG of 1.42, and even pays a yield of 0.7%.
The largest GPS manufacturer in Europe is Tomtom (OTCPK:TMOAF). It is a Netherlands-based producer of personal navigation systems which trades on the Pink Sheets in the United States. The stock has a P/E of 22.
NAVTEQ Corp. (NVT-OLD) provides digital map information, software and services to GPS systems and Internet mapping systems. The stock has a P/E of 48, and a PEG of 2.1.
Lowrance Electronics is one of the smaller manufacturers of GPS devices that was acquired by Simrad Yachting which is owned by Kongsberg (OTCPK:KGAUF). It occasionally trades in the U.S. on the Pink Sheets.
Trimble Navigation Ltd. (NASDAQ:TRMB) makes GPS devices primarily for commercial and government users. The stock has a P/E of 33, and a PEG of 1.69.
SiRF Technology Holdings Inc. (SIRF) makes and sells semiconductor and software products for global positioning system, and other location technologies devices. Although its earnings are currently negative, the stock's PEG is 0.94.
A more remote connection to GPS devices is Sandisk (SNDK) which makes the flash memory used in GPS devices. The stock has a P/E of 105, and a PEG of 0.93.
Tele Atlas NV (OTC:TLATF), which provides mapping services for GPS systems, is being taken over by Tomtom.
Disclosure: The author does not own any of the above.