Piper Jaffray Sets Expectations on GoPro Inc (GPRO) and Fitbit Inc (FIT) Ahead of Earnings

Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy is out with divided expectations for GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) and Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) ahead of their third-quarter results due this week. While Murphy remains skeptical considering GPRO’s demand appears to outweigh inventory and causes for concern circle the forthcoming holiday season, she outlines both positives and negatives for FIT.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, analyst Erinn Murphy is ranked #3,970 out of 4,178 analysts. Murphy has a 38% success rate and faces a loss of 7.4% in her annual returns. When recommending GPRO, Murphy loses 19.9% in average profits on the stock. When suggesting FIT, Murphy forfeits 57.7%.

Let’s dive in:

GoPro Inc

Ahead of GoPro’s quarterly print due November 3rd, shares are falling 6% and Murphy agrees with negative investor sentiment, reiterating an Underweight rating on shares of GPRO with a $9 price target, which represents a close to 30% downside from current levels.

For the third-quarter, the analyst projects EPS of ($0.37), compared to the Street’s estimate of ($0.31). Meanwhile, Murphy anticipates a 20% year-over-year decline in sales to $320 million, ahead of consensus expectations of $308 million. Ultimately, the analyst highlights concerns as to the action camera giant’s potential to hit its outlook for the second half of the year, especially when the corporate team believes GPRO can reach a point of profitability by its fourth quarter.

Recently, the company introduced both a new Hero 5 camera line as well as its Karma consumer drone, GPRO’s first steps into the drone market.

Yet, Murphy believes, “While the HERO5 Camera appears to be in stock, we are noticing availability issues with the Karma drone in Best Buy stores, and on GoPro.com. Also shipping to Amazon remains on pause, creating further headwind to Q4 earnings. We believe mgmt. has not sold to Amazon directly for the month of October but would expect this situation to have rectified itself by the time of the conf. call.”

Moreover, after some discussions, the analyst remains bearish, explaining, “Upon further inquiry, we were told initial demand did not meet inventory on hand. Bottom line, we believe delayed shipments to Best Buy is a negative. Even if the Karma is back-in-stock by end of November, this misses the important window for Best Buy’s Black Friday circulars and could cause frustration as we get closer to the holiday season.”

“Nonetheless, this is a disruption of a key partner that we believe was not contemplated in guidance and we will continue to monitor the progress of this channel partner into the Holiday season,” Murphy concludes.

TipRanks analytics exhibit GPRO as a Hold. Based on 11 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 rate a Buy on GPRO, 6 maintain a Hold, while 2 issue a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $13.14, marking a nearly 3% upside from where the shares last closed.screen-shot-10-31-16-at-11-48-pm

Fitbit Inc

As Fitbit prepares to post its third-quarter print November 2nd, which will be noteworthy for revealing how sales of new products Charge 2 and Flex 2 fared for the wearable device maker, Murphy weighs in from the sidelines.

For Murphy, “Despite the new product release we believe the Q4 revenue assume could prove aggressive. The Charge 2 and Flex 2 mark the second major release of 2016, following the Alta and Blaze which occurred in March. We note the new product release in Q1 will surely limit the number repeat purchases.”

The analyst asserts, “We acknowledge there were a number of positive data points for Fitbit during the quarter. Most importantly, in our 32nd semi-annual Teen Survey results for Fitbit and the wearable category were positive, with overall intent to purchase a fitness tracker moving up from 18% last fall to 21%.”

As the analyst breaks down FIT’s profitability, she believes 79% of earnings are waiting in the second half of the year, with 63% squarely in the fourth quarter. For the third quarter, Murphy anticipates FIT will bring in EPS of $0.18, just under the Street’s expectation of $0.19, with both in range of guidance of $0.17 to $0.19. For sales, Murphy forecasts $508 million, just ahead of the Street’s $507 million, and both within guidance calling for $490 to $510 million. The analyst believes units will see a 3% rise to 4.9 million and ASP will hit a 19% jump.

“We would not be surprised if Q3 sales are to the upside given solid ship-ins but believe investors will be more interested on QTD sell-through as we approach the Holiday season,” Murphy contends, particularly underscoring fourth quarter’s implied guidance is set for approximately $1 billion in sales and 10 million units.

As such, Murphy reiterates a Neutral rating on FIT with a price target of $14, which represents just under a 6% increase from where the shares last closed.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate FIT as a Buy. Based on 16 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 11 rate a Buy on FIT, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $21.50, marking a nearly 63% upside from where the stock is currently trading.screen-shot-10-31-16-at-11-48-pm

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