The Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) rally continues. Shares of the leading maker of fitness trackers soared 9.47% last week, following a bullish analyst note and growing buzz about new products. Mizuho Securities analyst Betty Chen stuck to her earlier buy rating and $20 price target after hosting investors meetings with Fitbit's CFO.
Chen is walking away from the conversations convinced that Fitbit has a good chance to maintain its global market leadership position in wearables, with new opportunities arising in the healthcare realm. She is upbeat about the prospects for the new products that will carry Fitbit's fortunes through the next few quarters, starting with the Charge 2 that hit the market earlier this month and the Flex 2 that is now two to three weeks from wrapping around wrists.
Pair up the two new products with the Alta fitness bracelet and Blaze smartwatch that Fitbit introduced this year -- two products that have accounted for roughly half of its sales through the first half of 2016 -- and the consumer electronics company will have put out four significant products this year.
Miles to go before it reaps
Fitbit's now at its highest weekly close in more than four months, but this doesn't mean that it's anywhere to close to its all-time highs. The stock has actually shed nearly half of its value year to date. Fitbit stock was a market darling when it went public last summer, but the shares are now 69% below that summertime peak.
Its recovery is naturally riding on the success of Charge 2 and Flex 2. Charge 2 -- Fitbit's update to its top-selling Charge HR -- hit the market earlier this month at $149. The device is resonating with initial buyers, scoring better than a four-star rating on the leading online shopping site.
It's still too early to tell if the $99 Flex 2 will be a big winner. It should start shipping by the end of the month. Updating the original Fitbit Flex by making it nearly a third smaller and marketing it as its first swimproof tracker should make it a hot holiday gift at a compelling price point.
Year-over-year revenue growth has decelerating sharply in each of the past four quarters, going from 253% top-line growth five quarters ago to 47% today according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Most companies would love to be growing at a 47% clip, but Fitbit's prospects have been complicated by contracting margins.
Flex 2's initial strong reviews and management talking up its bullish prospects are boosting Fitbit's stock to four-month highs, but keeping those upticks will require brisk sales of the new products. The third quarter will give us an early read on Flex's 2's success, but the ultimate report card will be the upcoming holiday quarter when the Charge 2 and Flex 2 will both be readily available.