Nowadays, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) doesn’t seem able to catch a proper break. Good tidings for the beleaguered camera manufacturer have been few and far between ever since GPRO botched up the launch of Hero4.
That’s why investors have been celebrating after GPRO reaffirmed first-quarter revenue, a move that helped GoPro stock break its freefall — at least for the time being. GPRO racked up 15% gains after it reaffirmed that first-quarter revenue will come in at the high-end of its $190 million-$210 million guidance.
GoPro also said that it expects to boost the bottom line through program cost reduction and headcount cuts.
Boosting the Bottom Line
GPRO stock is beginning to show signs of cooling off, and the rally could be on its last legs. Investors can be forgiven for feeling jittery about a stock that has gone through a series of false starts that are more often than not followed by a protracted selloff.
After all, it’s not like GoPro just announced an exciting new product or anything like that. GPRO simply said that it plans to go ahead with the termination of roughly 270 positions and take a $10 million restructuring-associated charge in the process. In other words, GoPro will take a short-term hit on its bottom line, but could realize significant cost savings in the long-run.
That will mark the third round of job cuts by GoPro since 2016 as the action camera maker desperately tries to claw its way back to profitability. An announcement in January saw the company lay off 7% of its workers. The other round, which came in November 2016, was particularly severe — the company completely shuttered its entertainment division, losing 15% of its workforce in the process, and even lost company president and former Skype head Tony Bates.
But all that seemed to do little good — GoPro still finished the year with a massive $373 million operating loss.
Another False Start By GPRO?
The investing universe seems to have lost faith in the ability of GoPro’s management to get its act together. And that’s saying a lot for a company that has yet to celebrate its third anniversary as a public entity. How did we get here?
First off, GoPro was forced to cut the price of its iconic Hero4 camera in half just a few months after its launch. GPRO then promised to lose its tag as a one-trick pony by launching the Karma drone. But here again the company just couldn’t get its game going. After delaying Karma for months, the company issued an embarrassing recall of the drone shortly after launch.
According to CEO Nick Woodman:
“We’re a little bit embarrassed that it was something as basic as a battery retention issue.”
Investors could not help but feel that GoPro’s management was constantly being blindsided by events, and that’s never a good thing. That’s the reason why Karma’s recent relaunch did nothing for GPRO stock.
GoPro said during the second launch that shipments would be limited at first, which defies logic for a product that has been so long in development. Karma returned to the shelves on Feb 1, 2017 but eight days later GoPro stock had tanked 23%.
But maybe this could finally be the right time to pick up the shares when the chips are still down. For all its woes, GoPro is still selling cameras, with many of its products regarded as the best in class. GoPro’s new Hero5 and Hero5 Session have proven to be something of a hit — the company sold 2 million cameras during the fourth quarter, the second-highest figure in any quarter. Those impressive sales helped GoPro snap out of a revenue tailspin that stretched back four quarters.
The midpoint of GoPro’s first-quarter guidance points to revenue growth of 9%. That’s not exactly earth-shattering, but it will lay a foundation for further improvements down the road.
GoPro has promised the next iteration of its action cameras, Hero6, will hit the markets sometime this year. The company has also said that Karma will be available in international markets later this spring. This makes GPRO stock a good turnaround bet.
Bottom Line on GoPro Stock
It’s hard to tell whether GPRO has finally found a floor after losing a third of its value over the past six months. The stock is trading slightly above its all-time low, and may remain range-bound for some time until another solid catalyst emerges. But I’m willing to wager that this is not another false start by GoPro stock.
As of this writing, Brian Wu did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.