GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) is scheduled to release its next earnings report tonight after closing bell. Consensus estimates suggest that the camera maker will report earnings of 8 cents per share on $263.5 million in revenue.
Volatility in GoPro stock
Tonight’s report will be GoPro’s second as a public company. Shares of GoPro stock have been highly volatile since the initial public offering. They soared after the company’s IPO, climbing for four days in a row as investors dove right in. But then the stock peaked earlier this month but has been on a steady downward trend ever since then.
GoPro has been plagued by several issues since then, like the accusation that the company’s camera was what caused race Michael Schumacher’s brain injury last year.
What to watch in GoPro’s earnings report
Because GoPro is such a newcomer to Wall Street, there isn’t much to compare tonight’s report to. In the second quarter, the company reported $245 million in revenue and 8 cents per share in earnings. Because there is so little data and GoPro shares have been so volatile, it won’t take much to send the stock into a downward spiral.
A miss on earnings or revenue could tank the stock. Another issue Keith Noonan of The Motley Fool points out is margins. While GoPro is trying to transform itself into a media company, right now it is mainly a hardware company, and margins are extremely important. In the last quarter, the camera maker saw a 42% gross margin.
However, that could decline steadily, as GoPro recently unveiled the new Hero cameras, including the inexpensive $129 low-end model, which will likely erode margins. This is an issue that’s similar to what investors were worried about with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s less expensive iPhone last year.
Currently its shares trade at about 223 times trailing earnings, according to Noonan, which means investors will be easily spooked by pretty much anything. In addition, he points out that the forward looking price to earnings ratio is about 96 for the 2015 fiscal year, and the P/E is about 73 for the 2016 fiscal year. With such high multiples, GoPro may be set up for a fall tonight—unless the company surprises to the upside in a big way.