GoPro Inc Stock Pops On Restructuring, Surge In Black Friday Sales

GoPro stock jumped by about 2% on Tuesday after the company said it plans to slash 15% of its global workforce and close its entertainment division. The action camera maker also said it aims to return to adjusted profitability in 2017 and that Black Friday sales of its cameras surged by more than 35% year over year at major retailers in the U.S.

The news comes a day after one analyst trimmed his price target for GoPro stock, saying that he is now factoring in sales of fewer Karma drones in the wake of the recall.

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GoPro to take a restructuring charge

As part of the restructuring, GoPro will reduce the size of its facilities and cut more than 200 full-time jobs. It will also cancel positions that are currently open. The efforts will reduce the company’s adjusted operating expenses to around $650 million in 2017, resulting in a return to adjusted profits. President Tony Bates will also leave his post at the end of the year.

GoPro has been struggling to turn a profit and posted a huge loss in the most recently completed quarter. It expects to still post a GAAP loss in 2017, however, because of its struggles with its recalled Karma drone and production problems with the new Hero5 camera. Power loss problems with the Karma forced GoPro to recall the 2,500 drones it had sold right out of the gate, and in addition to the production issues with the Hero5, pricing problems on Amazon have taken a bite out of sales. The company had been counting on its new products to boost its revenues and earnings, as its last major misstep, the small Session camera, missed the mark with fans.

GoPro did have a bit of good news, however, as it said camera sales on Black Friday week through top U.S. retailers jumped by more than 35% from last year. Additionally, camera sales on between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday rose 33% year over year. Some analysts have said that GoPro’s own website probably benefited because the hugely popular discounted Session bundle sold out on Amazon. As a result, some shoppers probably sought the deal directly from GoPro.

GoPro no longer seeking to diversify

The company’s move to shut down its entertainment division demonstrates its decision to stop trying to diversify beyond its main action camera business. Management had been saying for some time that the company would become a media company rather than just a maker of niche action cameras. However, investors have been growing more and more skeptical about GoPro’s designs on the media business, which was a bid to build a platform that would encourage sales and promote its action cameras.

The action camera maker said it expects a charge of between $24 million and $33 million related to the restructuring, job cuts and cost-cutting measures. Most of that charge will come in the December quarter.

GoPro stock price target cut at FBN

In a report dated Nov. 29, FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said he trimmed his price target on GoPro stock from $11 to $10.50 per share. He made the move before the company announced its restructuring plans and Black Friday sales this morning.

The analyst noted that the company guided for fourth quarter Karma revenue to be less than 10% of total revenue on its Nov. 3 earnings call. GoPro also guided for total revenue of $625 million, plus or minus $25 million. Then on Nov. 8, GoPro announced the Karma Recall and Refund program. Seyrafi had previously been estimating $45 million in Karma revenue for the fourth quarter.

He also noted that it’s now been three weeks since the company started recalling its drones, and it hasn’t said whether shipments have resumed. Of course it seems unlikely because GoPro probably would have said something about it in today’s announcement. Seyrafi is now estimating only $4 million in Karma revenue for the fourth quarter and only $36 million for fiscal 2017, which is down from his previous estimate of $150 million.

Shares of GoPro stock jumped by as much as 2.64% to $10.09 during regular trading hours on Wednesday.