GoPro may finally be emerging from the woods - TechCentral

GoPro may finally be emerging from the woods

GoPro Hero6

GoPro has posted results that exceeded analysts’ estimates, buoyed by strong demand for the company’s signature action camera and suggesting it’s finding a way back to growth and profits.

Revenue was US$283-million in the second quarter, the company said on Thursday in a statement. That was up 40% from the previous period and beat the average analyst estimate of $270-million. The company reported a loss of $37-million, or a loss of $0.27/share. Analysts anticipated a loss of $0.32.

“GoPro is executing,” said Nicholas Woodman, founder and CEO, in a statement. He anticipates GoPro will be profitable in the second half of 2018 and through 2019. The shares jumped about 5% in extended trading.

The report marks the second consecutive quarter of good news for the company — but the gadget maker may need to extend its winning streak to win over investors who have suffered through three years of stock declines. After a market debut in 2014 to great fanfare with a hot product and sleek videos of daring exploits executed in stunning scenery, GoPro quickly faced increasing competition for its small, cube-shaped action camera.

It launched, after a delay, a drone called Karma in 2016 and little more than a year later pulled the plug on the project. GoPro slashed the price on its older Hero5 Black camera and a new model over the holiday season last year. The shares have fallen 94% from their high of $93.85 in October 2014 to $5.99 at Thursday’s close.

The company “will have to produce several quarters of solid earnings to win over investors”, analysts from Wedbush Securities wrote in a note before earnings were released. They rated GoPro “neutral”, adding it may not be innovating fast enough to offset impending market saturation from its core products.

GoPro projects revenue of $260-million to $280-million in the third quarter, and $380-million to $400-million in the fourth quarter, chief financial officer Brian McGee said during a conference call. The forecast is in line with the average of analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company is “closely monitoring” a shortage of components such as resistors that affects GoPro’s supply chain, which has been factored into the forecast, Woodman said.

‘Strong demand’

He said the company is seeing signs of “strong demand” for its products. Inventory is at the lowest level since the second quarter of 2014, the company said. GoPro introduced a lower-cost option of its Hero camera in March for $199.

GoPro has sold more than 30 million Hero cameras since the debut of the first HD model in November 2009, and more than four million Hero5 Black cameras since its launch in the fourth quarter of 2016. In April, the company began an incentive programme for users to trade in older GoPro or digital cameras for discounts on its latest devices.

GoPro is also benefiting from new services designed to make using its hardware more accessible. Its Plus subscription allows for automatic cloud backup, discounts on accessories, support and an app for sharing photos and videos. The company said it had 160 000 active paying subscribers at the end of the second quarter, up 9% from the previous quarter.

At the same time, GoPro has been keeping costs in check, after reducing its workforce by 20% in the beginning of the year, helping boost adjusted gross margins to 31% in the second quarter, from 24.3% during the first quarter.  — Reported by Emily McCormick, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP

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