For the second time in as many weeks, a Wall Street analyst is reiterating a $20 price target on shares of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT). Citi analyst Stanley Kovler is encouraged by early indications of customer acceptance of Fitbit's new products. Flex 2 hit stores earlier this month, and Charge 2 should be available come early next month.
Kovler sees hearty activity when it comes to Fitbit app downloads as tracked by App Annie, a good indicator that new customers are buying Flex 2. If that's not the case, then it could just be interest in the Fitbit Adventures feature the company just released in its app update, giving fitness bracelet wearers a fun and challenging way to stay active and motivated. Whether it's one scenario or a combination of both in action, it's good news for Fitbit.
If Kovler doesn't seem overly excited, here -- he's calling the stock only "relatively" inexpensive, and his enthusiasm is tempered by Fitbit looking to be at least in line with expectations -- it's because he was burned before. Kovler started coverage of Fitbit at $35 back in January. He's been lowering his price target as the year plays out.
Bouncing back after a nasty fall
Fitbit was one of the market's biggest losers through the first half of 2016. The stock kicked off the year at $29.59, but by the end of June, it was down to the pre-teens. It has stormed back with monthly gains of 12% in July and 13% in August. It was up 5% so far this month before today's analyst-related pop thrust the stock closer to its third consecutive double-digit monthly gain.
Fitbit stock's slump was the result of decelerating growth and contracting margins as it adjusted to a more competitive marketplace for wearable tech and picked up the pace for product rollouts. The market's warming up to Fitbit's gain, still the unquestioned leader in its fitness tracker niche.
Kovler isn't the only bullish Wall Street pro sticking with an earlier call for a $20 price target. Mizuho Securities analyst Betty Chen did so last week after meeting with Fitbit's CFO. She concluded that Fitbit's global market leadership in wearable fitness, strong buzz for its new products, and possibilities to make a move into the healthcare market make it a stock worth owning.
Fitbit's stock chart could be a challenge worthy of its new Fitbit Adventures app feature. It's been a steady climb this summer, but it still has a long way to go to claw its way out of its losses for all of 2016. However, Kovler's reendorsement was good enough to send the shares up to a four-month high on Thursday. That's a feat worth celebrating.