Are you lost? These 5 companies bet on it
The same dynamic that applies to the consumer market -- low penetration of GPS and other location technologies -- exists in Trimble's marketplace. The stock has seen a huge run this past year, up some 75%, giving it a P/E ratio of 28 and a market cap of almost $5 billion. But the strong fundamentals in its markets are likely to push it higher, says Lehman Brothers analyst Noelle Swatland, who initiated coverage in October with a buy.
The company harmed most by Nokia's buying Navteq is Garmin (Charts) ($115). In the short term, the GPS-device maker faces a potential squeeze in getting the digital maps that are the core of its products. Navteq's largest customer is Garmin. And while Nokia promises to honor the mapmaker's current contracts, you can bet when it comes time to renegotiate, the leverage Garmin has enjoyed on pricing -- and even on choosing what region of the world Navteq maps next -- will be much weaker in the face of Nokia's plans for global wireless domination. Navteq will go where Nokia, not Garmin, wants it to go.
The other chief source for digital maps, Tele Atlas, is in the throes of being acquired by Garmin's fiercest rival, TomTom (TOM2, $81, on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange), for $2.5 billion.
That acquisition, assuming it goes through, gives TomTom, which has a market cap of about $9 billion, a tremendous advantage over Garmin. "If you look at TomTom, it's played the game beautifully," says CIBC World Markets' Reiner.
TomTom carries a P/E of 19, which is far lower than that of many U.S. rivals like Garmin (in part because TomTom trades on a European exchange). That doesn't mean it's cheap, but Reiner looks at it this way: "If you think that personal navigation devices are going to hit their peak this year at less than 10% penetration, then, yes, it's overpriced a bit," he says. "But if you think a navigation device might be found soon in 50% of the cars on the road, it's clearly worth the multiple."