UPDATE 4-Garmin Q4 profit drops; shares up as inventory eases

lunes 23 de febrero de 2009 19:26 CET

* Q4 results miss Street view

* Will not provide an outlook for 2009

* Lowers inventory by $274 mln

* Feb sales up over Jan sales

* Shares up as much as 17 pct (Adds details from conference call, updates share movement)

By Purwa Naveen Raman

BANGALORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Navigation device maker Garmin (GRMN.O: Cotización) posted lower-than-expected quarterly results on Monday as sales of its gadgets used in cars dropped, but shares rose 17 percent as the company reduced its inventory.

The top U.S. navigation device maker, which has been facing inventory issues, said it reduced its inventory by $274 million in the fourth quarter. In October, it had expected to lower inventory by about $150 million by the end of the year.

"It's a sign that they may not have to price as aggressively to move the inventory in a slower economic environment," Avondale Partners LLC analyst John Bright said.   Continuación...