GoPro Inc Should Have Marketed Hero4 Session Well: Woodman

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GoPro reported its third-quarter results on Wednesday that missed the Wall Street expectations by a distance. Analysts have largely blamed the poor performance of the tiny Hero4 Session for disappointing Q3 results. Even as lower-than-expected earnings prompted analysts to downgrade the stock, GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman admitted that the company made mistakes with the launch of Hero4 Session.

Q3 results would have been different if…

During an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Alley, Woodman said the Session should have been “stronger out of the gates.” He said the action camera maker mispriced the device and failed to back it up “with the marketing it deserved.” Had it been priced and marketed well, the Q3 results would have been very different. The company had priced Session at $399 at launch, but was forced to slash it by $100 in late September.

The San Mateo-based company’s Q3 earnings more than doubled to 25 cents per share. Its revenues jumped 43% YoY to $400 million. However, analysts were expecting $431.5 million in sales and 29 cents per share in earnings. GoPro’s guidance for the current quarter was disappointing, too. Woodman said the demand for GoPro cameras is still strong, but the company took its foot off the gas from a marketing perspective in Q2 and Q3.

No new flagship device for holiday season GoPro’s biggest mistake

Woodman said GoPro was going to boost marketing efforts to address waning social media attention. However, analysts argue that the Hero4 Session mispricing and lack of marketing is just one of the mistakes. JMP Securities analyst Alex Guana said the company didn’t give users a new flagship device for the crucial holiday season, which was its biggest mistake. A consumer-focused company needs new products every holiday season, said Guana. Lack of a new flagship device will hurt its sales in the current quarter.

What’s more, investments in marketing and future projects such as virtual reality could further affect its EPS. Cowen & Co analyst Robert Stone said uncertainty about sustainable growth would hamper its near-term performance. Stone slashed his price target on the stock from $60 to $24 following Q3 results. GoPro’s inventory skyrocketed from 88 days in Q2 to 122 days in the latest quarter.

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