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Trimble Navigation (TRMB) Reports a 5-Cent Beat for Q1

Trimble Navigation Ltd. (TRMB), a maker of GPS devices and provider of value-added positioning solutions, reported Q1 2008 earnings after the close today which topped analysts’ estimates on higher than expected revenues.

The company earned 40 cents per share on a non-GAAP basis on revenues of $355.3 million. Twelve analysts surveyed were looking for 35 cents on $338.7 million in sales. Trimble also issued forward guidance for Q2 of 44-46 cents per share vs. 41 cents consensus. For the full year, Trimble now expects to earn $1.50-1.55 vs. $1.43 consensus.

Interestingly, the company credited the strong quarterly results to the 73% growth in agriculture business sales. The effects of the current agricultural boom apparently extend beyond the obvious players like Deere (DE) and Potash (POT).

“The first quarter of 2008 emphasized the growing diversity of the Trimble business portfolio. Although E&C continued to be impacted by slow U.S. economic conditions, we saw strong growth across all other geographies. In addition, we experienced almost 75 percent growth in our TFS segment, driven by strong agriculture product sales,” said Trimble’s chief executive officer Steven Berglund.

Shares of TRMB have avoided the recent massive slide in GPS leader Garmin’s (GRMN) shares, which are down 54% year-to-date vs. an 8% decline in TRMB. In heavy after hours trading, TRMB shares are 8% higher at $30.50.

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