What happened

Shares of action-camera maker GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) sank more than 20% at their lows on Friday, and remained down 18.6% as of 3:30 p.m. EST. 

The company announced its fourth-quarter earnings results Thursday night, which showed revenue dropping by more than 32% versus the prior-year period. 

So what

Though the company highlighted the 28% sequential improvement in revenue versus the third quarter, the seasonally stronger fourth quarter fell short when compared to the 2019 period. For the full year, 2020 revenue dropped by 25% versus 2019. 

skier using outdoor action camera

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Though GoPro reported positive earnings for the holiday quarter, it continued its string of annual net losses that started in 2015. Even after earning $44.4 million in the final quarter of 2020, the company lost $66.8 million for the year. 

GoPro has been focusing on growing its subscription base and a direct-to-consumer strategy. Subscribers grew to 761,000 at the end of 2020, 52% ahead of the previous quarter, and 145% higher than one year ago. The company said GoPro.com generated $116 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, almost double the amount of a year ago.

Customers have been spending on more of the company's high-end offerings; cameras with retail prices above $300 represented 91% of quarterly sales. The average selling price to consumers was up 14% to $323, compared to the prior-year period. 

GoPro's strategy of higher-value products and subscription services is helping turn its business around. But investors will have to wait another year to see if it's enough to result in a profitable year. 

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