SAN FRANCISCO — Further stoking investor fear and doubt, GoPro on Wednesday halted the trade of its shares after releasing fourth-quarter earnings that severely missed analysts' expectations. Even more disappointingly, the action-camera maker released first-quarter forecasts far below what most observers were expecting.
"Growth slowed in the second half of the year, and we recognize the need to develop software solutions that make it easier for our customers to offload, access and edit their GoPro content," said GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman in a statement.
For the final quarter of 2015, GoPro generated $436.6 million in revenue, a more than 31 percent year-to-year decline from $633.9 million in 2014. Analysts were expecting $496.1 million in revenue for the period. GoPro also posted a loss of 8 cents per share, down 108.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 when the company had an earnings per share of 99 cents. The company posted a net loss of $11.4 million for the quarter, a 107.9 percent decline from 2014 when GoPro posted a net profit of $144.9 million.
Signaling that matters will only get worse before they are to improve, the company forecast that investors should expect at most $180 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2016. That's far below analysts' expectations of $298.04 million and would be down 50.4 percent from 2014 first-quarter revenue of $363.1 million. Trading for GoPro is expected to resume Thursday morning.
Halting trade "is not a good sign and shows investors are aggressively dumping the stock," said Matthew Tuttle, CEO of Tuttle Tactical Management. "Anything can happen, but at this juncture the stock is in bad shape. Even if it rallies from here, there is a lot of damage that needs to be repaired, both technical damage and psychological damage."
For GoPro to turn things around, the company will have to innovate and expand its offerings to give a wider range of consumers a device they'll actually want to buy, Tuttle said.
"For most people, the camera on their smartphone suffices," Tuttle said. "Most people don't need (or want) to spend more money and carry more devices. Until the company can overcome this very big obstacle, the stock will likely remain under pressure."
In its results, GoPro also announced the appointment of Brian McGee as chief financial officer. McGee will succeed current CFO Jack Lazar on March 11. GoPro said Lazar will be retiring.
"Jack has been a great leader who helped GoPro navigate the path to becoming a publicly traded company," Woodman said. "While he will be missed, we are also grateful to have Brian and a strong bench of leaders running finance at GoPro."