Analysts Offer Commentary on GoPro Inc (GPRO) and Fitbit Inc (FIT) Ahead of Rough Fourth-Quarter Waters

Rough tides are facing technology/consumer giants GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), with the former’s shares taking a hit after newly launched Karma drones were met with unknown technical malfunctions-gone-awry and with the latter’s third-quarter financial report not boding positively for the company’s fourth-quarter. With a recall likely to not make, but break GPRO’s chances of meeting fourth-quarter expectations and FIT’s fourth-quarter to be a time of rebooting rather than a focus on earning, as anticipated, analysts are weighing in with wary forecasts. Let’s dive in:

GoPro Inc

GoPro Inc shares were down 4% yesterday and are continuing their descent today after the camera action giant’s Karma drone launch has encountered unidentified technical difficulties, resulting in units losing power mid-flight and a subsequent recall.

As the company halts all Karma shipments and recalls an estimated 2,500 shipped units, which GPRO customers can send back for a full refund, inclusive of insurance policies, Merrill Lynch analyst Jason Mitchell remains bearish on the company’s prospects.

On back of what will now be yet “another holiday headwind,” the analyst reiterates an Underperform rating on shares of GPRO while cutting the price target to $9, which represents a 12% downside from current levels. In wake of the full Karma drone launch recall and in light of no technical malfunction explanation, the analyst has removed fourth-quarter Karma estimates from his model.

From Mitchell’s calculations, this could account for a blow of about $2.5 million to $3 million in lost revenue for the company, who could very well still suffer recall charges to come in fourth-quarter.

The analyst notes, “GoPro has not identified the cause and has no timeline for when units may ship again, but indicated it will use Hero5 Black and GoPro Grips allocated to Karma to ship into the channel in 4Q, a small offset to the Karma rev. loss. GoPro gave no updates to guidance and we think this removes some of GoPro’s wiggle room in 4Q and increases the risk that GoPro will miss 4Q estimates.”

“Given the production issues with the Hero5 and Karma, we think GoPro may have rushed product launches to meet the holiday window and is now paying the price in terms of quality and manufacturing issues. We believe Karma was only 5% of 4Q rev. (we est. $32mn), but it could have potentially offset some lower camera sales in 4Q and could make the difference between missing estimates and guidance,” Mitchell concludes.

Moving forward, the analyst recognizes a multitude of risks for GPRO’s fourth-quarter, from potentially discounted Hero4 units throughout the holiday season as it attempts to compete amid a flurry of new products, Hero5 units at a weak sell-through underperforming expectation, as well as a continuous rocky path of operation and/or supply “disruptions.”

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Jason Mitchell is ranked #3,557 out of 4,205 analysts. Mitchell has a 0% success rate and faces a loss of 18.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending GPRO, Mitchell loses 19.1% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit GPRO as a Hold. Out of 15 analysts polled by TipRanks, one is bullish on GoPro stock, 11 remain sidelined, and three are bearish on the stock. With a return potential for nearly 5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $10.91.  screen-shot-11-10-16-at-02-24-pm

Fitbit Inc

On November 2nd, Fitbit posted third-quarter earnings that Wells Fargo analyst Jamie Stockton considers generally “in line,” but remains critical of a “broad Q4 guidance miss.” As such, the analyst, sidelined on the fitness tracking giant, reiterates a Market Weight rating on FIT while pulling back on the valuation range from $14 to $15 down to $9 to $11, which represents a 5% to just under a 29% increase from where the shares last closed.

Additionally, the analyst is cutting fourth-quarter revenue estimates from $616 million to $584 million, EBITDA from $59 million to $48 million, revenue projections for the financial year of 2016 from $1.26 billion to $1.23 billion, and 2016 EBITDA from ($186 million) to ($197 million).

Stockton believes, “To be fair, Q3 saw end market weakness that was offset by earlier than expected shipments of Charge 2 and relatively light sales/marketing. That Charge 2 volume is robbing Q4 to some extent, which is combining with manufacturing issues for Flex 2 and heavy sales/marketing spend to drive awareness of FIT’s new devices. This is setting Q4 up to be a reset quarter (instead of the quarter when the company does two-thirds of its earnings, as was previously expected) […] We believe FIT will be able to start growing units again in 2017E […] and that will drive a resumption of revenue growth.”

Pulling back on estimates, the analyst has lowered 2016 EPS estimates to $0.58 and 2017 EPS from $1.39 to $0.74.

Overall, “FIT has an iconic wearable brand and is in a great position to drive device demand by appropriately addressing the wellness opportunity. Management is talking about wellness more, but it remains to be seen whether the company will truly pivot,” Stockton surmises, asserting that partnerships as well as merger & acquisition expansion will be “critical for sustained success.”

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Jamie Stockton is ranked #688 out of 4,205 analysts. Stockton has a 55% success rate and gains 12.6% in his annual returns.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate FIT as a Hold. Based on 18 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 2 rate a Buy on FIT, 14 maintain a Hold, while 2 issue a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $10.08, marking a nearly 18% upside from where the stock is currently trading.  screen-shot-11-10-16-at-02-25-pm

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