When GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) announced new products and updated guidance last week, the market took the news extremely poorly. The stock has fallen 28% in the last five days alone, and with a share price below $4, investors don't see much hope for a turnaround.
While Wall Street fixates on the reduced revenue growth guidance from 9% to 12% to a new range of 6% to 9%, it's looking past new products that are about to hit the market and lessons GoPro has learned from the past. GoPro even has a couple of compelling options for consumers this holiday season that may prompt some users to upgrade.
GoPro Hero on steroids
The Hero lineup of cameras hasn't had any big changes for the last few years, but that's not the case for 2019. You can see in the image above that there are new ways to modify the Hero 8 camera that introduce a better microphone, a light, and a front-facing display. This will make it easier to capture great images, and GoPro has indicated that it's targeting vloggers with these new features. Mods will retail for between $49.99 and $79.99 on top of the $399.99 price tag for the Hero 8 Black, so they could generate significant incremental revenue if they catch on.
From an investment perspective, what I like most is that GoPro only introduced one new camera this year. It pushed the GoPro Hero 7 Black and Hero 7 Silver down in price by $100 and kept them in the lineup. That reduces stale inventory and potential writedowns if sales don't match up with inventory after the holiday season. But the new lineup isn't what investors were reacting to last week.
What dismayed investors was a delay in production that will push the product launch back to mid-October, which will impact holiday sales. But the new Hero 8 Black and mods that it enables are a great offering for GoPro and make for compelling gifts as they hit store shelves.
A 360 camera users can all get behind
GoPro was one of the first companies to introduce a 360 video camera via the Fusion, but the camera didn't gain much traction in the market. Virtual reality headsets that utilize the technology aren't yet widespread, and the camera didn't have much flexibility beyond those 360 video shots.
The new MAX camera does everything that Fusion did but adds the ability to take traditional single-lens shots as well. MAX also comes with shotgun-mic audio capabilities, HyperSmooth, and four lenses that enable ultrawide field of view images down to narrow shots.
What's unique is being able to transition between these photo and video options using the GoPro app. Editing has always been a challenge with 360 videos, and GoPro has arguably the easiest-to-use tools for going from capture to display of the content.
GoPro gets one part of the business right
With Hero 8 Black and MAX, I think GoPro has gotten the product side of its business right. The new cameras are unique and compelling values for consumers and should be a hit this holiday season.
What management hasn't proven is the ability to execute on getting cameras to market on time. Like it or note, action cameras are highly dependent on the holidays, and missing even a few weeks of holiday spending could cost GoPro a lot of money in 2019.
It looks like GoPro has learned the biggest lessons it needed to from missteps in launching too many products, but to be a true success it needs to get launch cycles right.
For now, I think Wall Street is overlooking the new products while focusing on the execution issues, which could be a buying opportunity for investors who see some major advancements at GoPro -- particularly if the new MAX camera is a bigger-than-expected hit.