August 3, 2017 / 8:25 PM / 4 months ago

GoPro bets on Hero6 as it plots return to adjusted profitability

(Reuters) - GoPro Inc GPRO.O forecast a smaller-than-expected loss, and said it was on track to launch the latest version of its flagship camera by the holiday season, as the company seeks to achieve its goal of returning to adjusted profitability in 2017.

FILE PHOTO: A GoPro Hero 3+ camera is seen at the Nasdaq Market Site before before GoPro Inc's IPO in New York City, June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

The company’s shares were up 12 percent at $9.28 in after-market trading, and were set to wipe out their year-to-date decline if they open at that level on Friday.

Once a Wall Street favorite, GoPro’s body-mounted point-of-view cameras won a huge following among surfers, skydivers and other action junkies.

But the company came under pressure following a series of missteps including a delay in the launch of its Karma drone and production issues with its Hero5 camera.

GoPro also lost ground to feature-rich smartphones and rival products from companies such as Garmin GRMN.O and Sony Corp 6758.T.

The company is now betting on the HERO6 and the Fusion 360 action-cameras to help bring back its followers.

GoPro said during a post-earnings call on Thursday that it would realize revenue from the new products in the current quarter by shipping to customers ahead of the launch.

“HERO6 will probably perform in line with expectations, and at a higher gross margin than HERO5,” said Alicia Reese, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, adding that the management seemed to have a better handle on inventory levels this year.

GoPro forecast third-quarter adjusted loss of 1 cent to 11 cents per share and revenue of $290 million to $310 million, compared with analysts’ estimate of a loss of 12 cents per share and revenue of $278.5 million.

“We expect margins to continue to improve throughout 2017, with the introduction of new products,” Chief Executive Nicholas Woodman said on the post-earnings call.

GoPro’s net loss narrowed to $30.5 million, or 22 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $91.8 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, GoPro reported a loss of 9 cents per share, smaller than analysts’ estimate of a loss of 25 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s operating expenses fell 35.5 percent to $130.6 million.

Revenue rose to $296.5 million from $220.8 million.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $269.6 million.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila

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