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Tech Stocks This Week: Fitbit's New Devices and Facebook's Vision for Messaging

By Daniel Sparks – Updated Apr 12, 2019 at 10:56AM

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Here's a look at Fitbit and Facebook's latest announcements -- and why Eventbrite stock plummeted.

Three stories in tech stood out this week.

  1. Fitbit (FIT) showed off new devices with an emphasis on affordability.
  2. Facebook (META 3.01%) CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared the company's plans to beef up messaging and stories on its platforms.
  3. Eventbrite's (EB 3.75%) stock took a big hit after its quarterly results came out.

Here's a closer look.

Fitbit's devices

Wearables device maker Fitbit announced four new products on Wednesday.

First and foremost, Fitbit announced a cheaper and more basic version of its current Versa smartwatch, called the Versa Lite Edition. By stripping away some features such as Wi-Fi and music playback, the company is able to sell the device for just $159.95. 

Fitbit Versa Lite Edition devices in various colors

Versa Lite Edition. Image source: Fitbit.

Fitbit also launched two new Inspire activity trackers -- the Fitbit Inspire HR and Fitbit Inspire, priced at $99.95 and $69.95, respectively. Finally, Fitbit updated its kid-focused Fitbit Ace, launching the Fitbit Ace 2. The Ace 2 starts at $69.95 but won't be available in stores until this summer.

Affordability was the key theme of Fitbit's latest round of products. "With our newest products, we're delivering high-quality, easy-to-use wearables that are more affordable, so getting healthy can be accessible to people of all ages and activity levels -- even those who have never tried a wearable," said Fitbit CEO James Park in a press release about the new devices.

Check out the latest earnings call transcripts for Fitbit, Facebook, and other companies we cover.

Facebook's plan to double down on messaging

Social network Facebook also made news Wednesday, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the company's vision to transform into what he calls a "privacy-focused" social network. In other words, the company wants to step up its messaging and stories games, making users post more private and less permanent content. 

"Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication," Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg's vision involves creating the ability for users to easily communicate through private messages and stories across all of its platforms -- Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Eventbrite's disappointing quarter

Eventbrite, a global ticketing and event technology platform, saw its shares plummet on Friday. The stock's slide followed Eventbrite's fourth-quarter results.

While the company reported better-than-expected revenue, its loss per share of $0.17 was worse than the $0.14 loss analysts were expecting. In addition, the company's guidance for first-quarter revenue between $80 million and $84 million was far below a consensus analyst forecast for $91 million during the period.

Management, however, was pleased with its quarter, pointing out its 21.1% year-over-year increase in revenue and its $5.3 million year-over-year improvement in its operating loss. "Our 2018 performance sets the stage for strong momentum in 2019," said Eventbrite management in the company's fourth-quarter shareholder letter.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Fitbit. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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