GoPro says it’ll be profitable again in 2017, but Wall Street is jumping ship

Published November 4, 2016 by lagmen
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman.

GoPro’s year keeps getting worse.

The action-camera company announced its third-quarter earnings Nov. 3 and—like every other quarter this year—saw a precipitous drop in revenue and income, compared to the same quarter last year.

This quarter, GoPro posted revenue of $240 million, down from roughly $400 million last year, as well as a loss of $104 million for the quarter. Analysts had been expecting a loss for the quarter, but one far less steep.

The company briefly halted trading before dropping its earnings report this afternoon, but in after-hours trading, GoPro was down over 20%, to about $9.50, at the time of publishing. Back in October 2014, a few months after the company’s IPO, GoPro’s stock was trading as high as $86.

GoPro has had issues producing its newest products and getting them into stores, as well as getting rid of legacy stock in stores. On an earnings call, CEO Nick Woodman said the company had only shipped 1 million cameras this quarter. But the company also said in a release that it expects to return to profitability in the next quarter—GoPro usually sells more cameras during the holiday season.

Part of GoPro’s troubles in 2016 so far have stemmed from the fact that for most of the year, it had no new products in the market. Its long-heralded entry into the drone market, the Karma, was delayed until September. At the same event, it announced the new waterproof cameras Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session, as well as software to share and edit footage shot on its cameras, something many users have wanted for years.

In December 2015, Quartz predicted that for GoPro to survive in 2016, it needed an industry-changing drone, new cameras, and to deliver on its virtual-reality promises. So far, reviews of the Karma drone have been mixed. GoPro did release an impressive 360-video camera called Omni, which costs $5,000 and won’t be much use for the average non-professional videographer. And its new cameras have only been on the market for a few weeks.

GoPro faces a tough future: Its drone has stiff competition against more established manufacturers like DJI, and it’s unclear if the advances in the new Hero5 cameras will convince existing GoPro owners to upgrade. The company won’t have any easy time tempting new customers to buy, either, as most high-end smartphones now are waterproof and have great cameras with image stabilization built-in.

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