In years past, the Christmas season has been dicey for GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) stock. On several occasions, the company has suffered product delays and quality issues, which have crushed the top line. But this time around, GPRO got its act together. There were no land mines. The result is GoPro stock is up by about 5% on the news of its quarterly results.
Let’s get a rundown: Revenue rose by 13% to $377 million, which beat the consensus forecast of $374 million. The company also posted net income of $32 million, or 22 cents a share, up from a loss of $56 million, or 41 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. When adjusting for one-time items, the profits were 30 cents a share. This beat the analysts’ forecast of 26 cents a share.
Note that this was the first quarterly profit in five quarter. What’s more, CEO Nick Woodman indicated that the goal is to be profitable for the full year.
Then again, he has been hyper focused on driving costs down, which has been done primarily with several rounds of layoffs. He also dumped the drone business, which had become an albatross.
The goal is to keep operating costs at $400 million or lower. Here are some other highlights of the quarter:
- At $4.99 a month, the GoPro Plus subscription now provides users with unlimited cloud storage for videos and photos. There is no need to connect the camera as there is auto-offloading and backup. The service also comes with 50% discounts off most GoPro mounts and accessories. So far, thee are around 200,000 paid subscribers.
- The company plans to move its U.S.-bound camera production out of China and back to the U.S., so as to avoid the tariffs. This should be completed by the summer of this year.
- For cool highlight videos for the HERO7 Black camera, GoPro went to its customers. The result was $1 million divided among those who had the best clips (or $17,500 per winner).
But perhaps the most important news — at least for GPRO stock — is the buzz for the HERO7 line of cameras. It has won a myriad of awards and accolades, such as from CES, PCMag, USA Today and Popular Science. Then again, the camera does have some nifty features. One is HyperSmooth, which allows for high-end camera stabilization with gimbal-like performance. Then there is TimeWarp that compresses long experiences into shorter video.
As a result of all this, GoPro has been getting traction with market share in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea and Thailand. There has also been continued momentum on social channels, with total followers at over 38 million. Much of the growth has been on Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Instagram and Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube.
Bottom Line on the GPRO Stock Price
As should be no surprise, Woodman displayed his typical enthusiasm on the earnings call, saying: “GoPro’s brand has never been stronger. Our products never better and we’re fired up for the year ahead.”
But for those looking at GPRO stock, there should be caution. There has already been a run-up in the shares, going from $4 to $5.40 since December. Besides, GPRO remains a niche operator in a market that is not growing much. Keep in mind that the company expects the top line to increase anywhere from 5% to 8% during 2019. And even though the company has improved its operations, the competitive environment remains intense. Smartphones from companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are getting much more sophisticated camera capabilities.
The valuation on GPRO is also a bit pricey — at least compared to the sluggish growth rate — as the forward price-to-earnings multiple is near 20X. In other words, until there is more of a pick-up on the top line, there is not much reason to buy in right now.
Tom Taulli is the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.