The GPS wars are just beginning, and the first battle lines appear to have been drawn - around Tele Atlas. Tom Barlow, a contributor over at BloggingStocks.com, reports that TomTom and Garmin are vying to relocate GPS data provider Tele Atlas within their company holdings. Tom Tom recently upped its bid for Tele Atlas to $43.44 per share from $30 per share after Garmin crashed the party with a $35.48 per share offer.
Both Garmin and TomTom could benefit from integrating these geographic data products with their hardware business, notes Barlow. But Garmin shares could be suffering from the battle already. Since peaking at $125 per share in October, the stock plunged to below the $90 level by today's close. Granted, the weak overall market is partly to blame, but momentum technology stocks that have posted similar gains to GRMN's this year are holding up much better.
From a sentiment perspective, there is hope for a resumption of GRMN's uptrend if the shares can stabilize their recent descent. Nearly 7% of the stock's float is sold short, while 15 of the 20 analysts covering the shares rate them a hold or worse. Upgrades and a subsequent rebound could help unwind this pent up pessimism, but the stock may not benefit much from such a development if the bidding war for Tele Atlas continues much higher.