Fitbit stock tanked Wednesday night after the company posted a revenue number that missed expectations and weak guidance. This morning the virtual carnage continues as investors unload Fitbit stock at rapid pace. The premarket volume alone surpassed 9.7 million shares, exceeding the average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. Before midday arrived, more than 33.3 million shares of Fitbit stock had changed hands.
Demand for Fitbit products slowing
Most analysts pounced on the signs that demand for the company’s products is slowing. Wedbush analyst Nick McKay downgraded Fitbit stock from Outperform to Neutral and slashed his price target from $18 to $10 per share. In addition to soft demand, he cited limited visibility into the company’s “long-term financial targets and product roadmap.”
He admits that last night’s earnings reports indicates that his expectation for “significant” growth on the top and bottom lines in 2017 may have been too optimistic. As a result, he’s taking a wait-and-see approach. The company reported $504 million in revenue, coming up short of consensus of $507 million. Management had guided for $490 million to $510 million in sales for the third quarter. Fitbit posted non-GAAP earnings of 19 cents per share, which was in line with consensus and at the top end of guidance.
Fitbit cuts guidance
McKay was particularly concerned that Fitbit cut its guidance for the full year “dramatically” with multiple factors informing the decision to do it. The company cut its full-year sales outlook for this year to between $2.32 billion and $2.345 billion from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion. It slashed its non-GAAP earnings outlook to between 55 cents and 59 cents per share from between $1.12 and $1.24 per share
According to McKay, the Charge 2 and Flex 2, which were introduced toward the end of the third quarter, appear to have disrupted demand for Fitbit’s broader product portfolio. Some revenue from sales of the Charge 2 was pulled into the third quarter from the fourth quarter, and the company warns that supply constraints for the Flex 2 could continue until the end of December, thus impacting holiday sales.
Several quarters for Fitbit stock to recover
Morgan Stanley analyst Jerry Liu downgraded Fitbit stock to Equal-weight and said it will take “at least several quarters” for the company to re-accelerate growth and regain investor confidence. He notes that management said they must add more features and functions to their hardware and software. They also highlighted a lack of advertising for the Flex 2 and Charge 2 and said they need to refine their marketing message to push demand higher.
Liu pointed out that the wearable maker has already ramped marketing in the current quarter and said this has re-accelerated demand to some degree. However, he adds that if the company follows the same cadence for product releases, the new form factors and features won’t land on the market until March and September. Also Fitbit is still researching the best ways to attract new customers. Overall, Liu feels Fitbit is well-positioned to be a top player in fitness wearables but that it must improve execution.
Other downgrades for Fitbit stock
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts also downgraded Fitbit stock, moving from Buy to Hold. Stifel analysts maintained their Hold rating but slashed their price target from $15 to $10. Pacific Crest analysts downgraded the stock in September, well before this week’s earnings report.
Shares of the fitness wearable maker declined by about 30% to as low as $8.93 on Thursday.