GoPro Stock Plunges After Weak Holiday Quarter, Analysts Downgrade

GoPro stock tanked following Thursday night’s earnings report, and a few analysts are turning their back completely on it. Raymond James downgraded it from Market Perform to Underperform, although others, like JPMorgan, remain Overweight even though they cut their price target.

GoPro Stock
Image Source: GoPro Press Kit

The action camera maker reported earnings of 29 cents per share on $541 million in sales, versus the consensus numbers of 22 cents and $573 million. Management had guided for 25 cents to 35 cents per share and $600 million to $650 million. Their first quarter guide was also a disappointment at $190 million to $210 million in revenue, versus the Street’s estimates of 25 cents per share in losses on $267 million in sales.

GoPro stock target to $12

In a research note, JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster said he sliced $1 off his price target for GoPro stock, bringing it to $12 per share. He’s keeping the stock as a long idea into this year, “assuming the CEO delivers on his commitment to restore the firm to profitability, or – failing to do so – seeks strategic alternatives while the brand is still hot.” He described Plan A as taking “heroic action” such as executing the relaunch of the Karma drone flawlessly and introducing a must-have Hero 6 camera.

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He said the company also must greatly improve its gross margins by narrowing its product lineup and noted that it also must broaden the appeal of its “story-telling” platform. GoPro management said on the earnings call that they’re looking into smartphone-related options, and Coster feels that the company must enhance its smartphone software and connectivity. However, he feels also that the camera maker will have to take its expense levels back to where they were in 2014, which he believes will be “painful.

He added that he feels that GoPro stock can still work because of the broad skepticism, although his Overweight rating is “on a tight rein.”

GoPro stock target to $7 at Morgan Stanley, $5 at Dougherty

Morgan Stanley analyst Jerry Liu maintained his Underweight rating on GoPro stock but moved his price target from $8 to $7 per share. He said the sales miss was due to the recall of the Karma and a lack of marketing support among retailers, which canceled marketing for the Hero 5 Black because of supply constraints. However, he’s concerned that the weakness in demand went even further than that, as the company shipped only 2.3 million cameras during the holiday quarter.

Dougherty & Company analyst Charles Anderson has an even more bearish price target on GoPro stock after cutting it to $5. He maintained his Sell rating as well. Interestingly, he described the company’s fourth quarter performance as “just fine” due to a “global sell-in blitz.” He feels that the camera maker will have to slash costs even further than it will admit at this time. He describes GoPro as “a company with a sell-through problem that is scrambling to find the right cost structure.”

Shares of GoPro stock plummeted by as much as 12.4% to $9.60 during regular trading hours on Friday.