Consumer Electronics

GoPro Gives Up on Drones, Restructures, Warns on Profits

Shares of camera maker GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) were halted in premarket trading for five minutes Monday morning to give the company a chance to issue plenty of bad news. The company lowered its fourth-quarter revenue estimate to $340 million, sharply below the consensus estimate of $474 million.

GoPro also confirmed that it will reduce its worldwide workforce from 1,254 to fewer than 1,000 and that the company plans to exit the drone market once its existing inventory of its Karma product is sold.

But wait, there’s more. CEO Nicholas Woodman has agreed to reduce his cash compensation for 2018 to $1.00 with a target cash bonus of $0 for the year. Two other executives are leaving the company: Chief Operating Officer Charles “C.J.” Prober’s last day will be February 16, and Senior Vice-President and General Counsel Sharon Zezima has resigned effective March 30.

Woodman said:

GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018. We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap. We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018.

GoPro will take a restructuring charge estimated at $23 million to $33 million, including $12 million to $13 million in cash, related to the workforce reduction. The company plans to recognize the restructuring charges in the first quarter of this year.

The fourth-quarter revenue shortfall includes $80 million in price protection payments on the company’s Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session cameras and Karma drones. The payments resulted from a price drop on the Hero5 Black that more than doubled sales in the final two weeks before Christmas, but at a significant hit to revenues and profits.

GoPro expects GAAP gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2017 of between 24% and 26%. Adjusted gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2017 is expected to range between 25% and 27%.  Excluding the price protection payments and another $19 to $21 million in other charges, adjusted gross margin is projected at 44% and 46%.

GoPro expects operating expenses to fall between $136 million and $140 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, while adjusted operating expenses are forecast between $118 million and $122 million for the same period.

Shares traded down nearly 33% early Monday to $5.04, a new 52-week low, before recovering to around $5.50. The stock’s 52-week high is $11.89 and the 12-month consensus price target is $10.17.

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