(Adds analysts’ comments, background)
By John Tilak
BANGALORE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S.-based digital map supplier Navteq NVT.N, which agreed to be acquired by Nokia NOK1V.HE for $8.1 billion, posted a 47 percent rise in quarterly profit driven by strength in international operations, and raised its full-year view.
The map market for personal navigation devices, one of the fastest-growing segments in the consumer electronics space, has been consolidating with top navigation devices makers Garmin (GRMN.O) and TomTom (TOM2.AS) locked in a bidding war for Navteq’s rival Tele Atlas TA.AS.
Third-quarter net income for Navteq, which supplies maps to Garmin, rose to $39.9 million, or 40 cents a share, from $27.1 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 51 percent to $214.8 million.
Revenue from its Europe, Middle East & Africa operations rose 42 percent to $120.5 million.
Analysts expected earnings of 30 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $195.6 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
For 2007, Navteq expects earnings of $1.50 to $1.55 a share on revenue of $815 million to $825 million. In July, it had forecast earnings of $1.45 to $1.50 a share on revenue of $780 million to $795 million.
Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.55 a share on revenue of $798.9 million.
Navteq shares, which have risen 60 percent since TomTom’s bid for Tele Atlas in July, were trading at $76.25 in late electronic trade, after closing at $77.20 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Earlier Wednesday, Garmin made a higher, unsolicited $3.3 billion offer for Tele Atlas.
Garmin’s bid for Tele Atlas led some investors to beleive that there will be counter bids for Navteq, but that was unlikely, Jefferies & Co analyst Robert Schwartz said in a note to clients.
Pacific Crest Securities analyst David Niederman said by phone, “At $8 billion, it is too large for device providers like Garmin and TomTom, and the Internet portals do not appear to be interested.”
With the acquisition of Navteq, Nokia would directly compete with mapping products of Internet heavyweights Google (GOOG.O) and Yahoo YHOO.O.