GoPro (GPRO -0.63%) announced first-quarter 2019 results on Thursday after the market closed, highlighting deceptively strong growth in the seasonally slow postholiday period. Recall that the action camera maker opted to exit the drone business early last year and has since striven to return to sustained, profitable growth through a combination of cost controls and driving demand for innovative new camera models.

Though shares initially climbed more than 7% on the news early Friday morning, they've since settled to trade down around 2% as of 12.00 p.m. EDT. Let's zoom in, then, for a better look at how GoPro started the year.

GoPro HERO7 Black Camera spashing into blue water with swimmer on the LED display.


GoPro's results: The raw numbers


Q1 2019

Q1 2018

Growth (YOY)


$242.7 million

$202.3 million


GAAP net income (loss)

($24.4 million)

($76.3 million)


GAAP earnings (loss) per share




Data source: GoPro. YOY = year over year.

What happened with GoPro this quarter?

  • Excluding GoPro's aerial/drone business, revenue would have climbed 27%.
  • Adjusted for items like stock-based compensation and restructuring expenses, GoPro's (non-GAAP) net loss was $10 million, or $0.07 per share, narrowed from a $0.34-per-share adjusted net loss in the same year-ago period.
  • These results compared favorably to analysts' consensus estimates for an adjusted net loss of $0.09 per share on revenue closer to $234 million.
  • Adjusted gross margin expanded 10 percentage points year over year to 34%.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $1 million, narrowing from a $34.5 million adjusted EBITDA loss in last year's first quarter.
  • GoPro reduced GAAP and adjusted operating expenses by $19 million (or 16%) and $3 million (or 3%), respectively, from this time last year.
  • Camera units shipped increased 11.1% year over year, to roughly 842,000.
  • sales grew 90% year over year, representing more than 10% of total quarterly revenue.
  • Average selling prices (ASPs) grew 8% both year over year and sequentially from last quarter to $288, driven by strong sell-through and a favorable mix shift toward GoPro's flagship HERO7 Black camera model.
  • Paying GoPro Plus subscribers increased 50% year over year and 10% sequentially to more than 220,000.

What management had to say

GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman stated:

GoPro grew first quarter revenue 20% year-over-year thanks to strong global demand for our products. We are innovating in all areas of our business and driving disciplined expense and inventory management. We believe this, combined with the release of exciting new products, will drive continued growth and as a result we are raising revenue and full-year non-GAAP profitability guidance for 2019.

Looking forward

More specifically, during the subsequent conference call, GoPro CFO Brian McGee said the company now expects full-year 2019 revenue to increase between 7% and 10% year over year, up from its previous outlook for 5% to 8% growth. Coupled with continued operating expense reductions and margin improvement, that should translate to a roughly break-even year on a GAAP basis and adjusted earnings per share of $0.25 to $0.45 (up from previous guidance for an adjusted EPS range of $0.20 to $0.40).

So why did GoPro stock decline after its initial pop this morning? For one thing, keep in mind GoPro shares were already up more than 50% year to date leading up to this report. And it certainly doesn't help that the broader market indexes are slumping today (both the Dow and S&P 500 are down more than 1% as of this writing) as investors grapple with trade tensions and macroeconomic concerns.

Still, there was little not to like about GoPro's latest beat-and-raise performance. And I think patient shareholders should be more than pleased.