The company said on Wednesday that it is re-launching its Karma drone later this year after withdrawing the product in November “after a small number of instances of power loss due to a mechanical issue related to securing the drone’s battery.”
The announcement gave the stock a boost on Thursday, but by Friday investors had probably realized that unless GoPro had done more than just fix a problem with Karma it had well and truly missed the peak buying season for drones.
Drones, which were a big seller in the 2015 holiday season, were an even bigger seller in 2016. GoPro missed out on a share of an expected 1.6 million drone unit sales in the 2016 holiday season.
Generally speaking, when something like this happens at the height of the consumer buying cycle, the only way to make up for the lost business is by taking less profit and trying to win market share. But that won’t help GoPro’s revenues or profits, and the company desperately needs to find some of both.
At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the company announced upgrades including an app that allows users to edit GoPro video directly on their smartphones. Photos and videos from the camera can now be auto-uploaded to the cloud and then downloaded to the phone for editing.
Slick, yes. Enough to boost sales, probably not. Analysts at Longbow Research cut the stock to Underperform on Friday with a price target of $7.
GoPro’s 52-week share price range is $8.54 to $17.68. Shares peaked at more than $85 in late 2014 and have been on a mostly steady downtrend ever since. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $9.86 and that seems optimistic now.