After going through some dark times in the last quarters and experiencing huge losses, GoPro's upcoming release of the 2 new products can be the company's chance to finally get back on track. But is it a good idea to buy GPRO stocks?
Hardly anyone had hope in GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO) after the announcement of the 2015 Q4 results when the company's stock reached its all-time lowest value since the IPO in June 2014. The stock lost whopping 90% going down from its record value of $93.85 (October 2014) to $9.78 (February 2016). As the last quarter of 2015 was expected to be more successful than others due to the holiday shopping period, GoPro's losses appeared even more disappointing to investors. Bloomberg reported an 8 cent loss per share as compared to a profit of 99 cents per share in the same period the year before.
Company's revenues were also not in the best shape, to say the least. Reported at $436.6 million that quarter, the profits dropped further to $220.7 million in the June quarter, leaving the investors speechless. Overall, in the first six months of 2016, GoPro's revenue fell by 47% and the operating loss amounted to $230.8 million. One of the reasons behind such devastating results was a mediocre success of GoPro's Hero4 Session model that was criticized for the software's usability issues. On top of that, growing competitive pressure made it look like GoPro's success was a thing of the past.
At that time, many experts believed the company to be a short investment choice. However, as GoPro announced the release of the 2 new products back in February, it gave hope for the not so gloomy future of the brand.
“We acknowledge the challenges facing our business. In 2016 we are committed to delivering the breakthrough experience we’ve all been waiting for,” said GoPro's CEO Nick Woodman.
The new models to come out this year are the GoPro Hero5 action camera and the long-awaited autonomous drone Karma.
"I want to update you on hardware. As impressive as GoPro technology is today, we are passionate about making our devices smaller, lighter, and easier to use - and soon they will fly," said Woodman on the Q4 earnings call.
The Hero5 has been already named as the “most connected and convenient” action camera to come to the market. Following the complaints on the Hero4 model issues, Woodman promised to deliver top notch user experience as well as improved cloud and smartphone connectivity features.
Hero5 is expected to outperform its predecessors by doubling the 4K resolution capabilities and shooting videos at anywhere between 30 to 60 frames per second, reports ValueWalk. Some sources rumoured Hero5 and Karma to be built on Ambarella H2 chips that would allow the devices to make 4K videos at up to 120 fps. While others say that GoPro will not use the Ambarella chips in its newest models and will rather invest in the Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors that offer some superior features such as Wi-Fi and 4G LTE.
Next to the new model of its action camera, Karma would be GoPro's first attempt to enter the market of drones. Woodman positioned Karma as "the ultimate GoPro accessory", as many customers already attach their GoPro cameras to drones. So this could be a smart move from the company to offer their own alternative that is directly compatible with the cameras.
Even though the release of Hero5 and Karma is a breakthrough for the brand, competitors were working hard while GoPro was struggling. So when the devices finally enter the market, they will have to fight for the customers' attention. Since last year, Sony (NYSE: Sony Corp Ord [SNE]) has released 6 action camera models offering a 4K videos in HD quality with an in-built WiFi, yet with a smaller price tag. Another major player, Nikon (OTC: NINOY), offers a KeyMission 360 camera that shares many of the GoPro features and even looks a lot like its rival. Olympus, Garmin and Xiaomi have also released their versions of action cameras.
Similarly, Karma drone will have to compete with such established market players as DJI and 3D Robotics that own the big portion of the market. Indeed, the competition is not going away but let's not forget that GoPro has managed to build a big follower base of loyal customers in the last years. Even though we can only guess what the new devices will offer, analysts believe that GoPro's new products have a good chance of getting the company on the way to recover.
So, here comes the question: is it a good idea to load up on GoPro stocks? The expert Mark Hibben believes that it is. Despite the lows of the last quarters, the coming quarters are likely to bring more profits. According to the company's latest earnings reports, the revenue guidance for this year is set for $1.35-$1.5 billion, yet Hibben believes that this is way too ambitious.
However, investors can well expect the company to achieve $945.7 million, he says. Even though the revenue is still far from being impressive, Hibben rates the stock as a "buy" saying that GoPro's stocks are about to positively react to the release of the new products and have a good chance to impress the market and further strengthen the followership.
It is, indeed, a good moment to buy some GoPro stocks before they respond to the Hero5 and Karma's release. As of writing, GPRO stock trades at $14.89.