Hold on to your hats, GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) investors. Your favorite action-camera specialist reports second-quarter results on Tuesday after the bell, and it's time to start thinking about what to expect.
Analysts, on average, expect GoPro's revenue to climb 61.6% year over year to $395.2 million, while earnings per share are expected to more than triple to $0.26. Both figures are at the high end of GoPro's own guidance, which calls for second-quarter revenue between $380 million and $400 million, and earnings per share in the range of $0.24 to $0.26.
To be fair, GoPro has made a habit of absolutely demolishing Wall Street's expectations so far this year. But GoPro's business is about much more than just revenue and earnings, so investors should dig deeper to understand what's really driving GoPro's results.
Here are three things I'll be watching closely when GoPro's report hits the wires:
1. Consumer response to new cameras
As it stands, GoPro receives the vast majority of its revenue from the sale of cameras and associated accessories. In fact, GoPro's HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver Edition models together have comprised over half of GoPro's revenue since they launched late last year, and according to management they will probably command a similar share in the upcoming report.
However, earlier this month GoPro announced the HERO4 Session, dubbing it "[t]he smallest, lightest, and most convenient GoPro yet." That's a fair enough description, as the HERO4 Session is 50% smaller and 40% lighter than any other GoPro device. And the tiny new camera should help GoPro maintain healthy margins with its rather large $399 price tag, which is exactly the same as the physically larger -- and seemingly more expensive to build -- HERO4 Silver.
But after setting the bar so high with the launch of the HERO4 Black and Silver, which GoPro CEO Nicolas Woodman called the "most successful rollout in GoPro's history," have consumers responded in kind to the HERO4 Session since it became available just over a week ago?
That's not to say the Session must be as popular as its predecessors to be considered a win, but any strength here could go a long way toward appeasing concerns that GoPro is relying too much on its top two devices.
2. Progress in the media segment
Speaking of diversification, GoPro has also voiced its intention to transform over the long term into a "media company," namely by monetizing the content its cameras create. Updates along this lines should include stats on GoPro's mobile app, which was downloaded another 2.6 million times last quarter to bring its total to nearly 16 million. GoPro will also probably offer numbers for GoPro Studio software installations (1.7 million last quarter), average daily exports from that software (up 68% year over year to 40,000 last quarter), and YouTube channel viewership (videos published up 93% YOY last quarter, and overall views up 46%).
As luck would have it, on Monday GoPro issued a press release relevant to its media category announced a new "Premium Content Licensing Portal" aimed at letting global advertising brands and agencies license "premier video and images." In short, GoPro's new licensing portal allows these brands and agencies to access relevant content in a single place, while at the same time making it easy to clear copyrights and likeness rights. What's less clear, however, is what kind of revenue opportunity this could create for GoPro over the long run, so expect to hear management and analysts discussing these points on Tuesday's call.
3. Updates on other hardware markets
Finally, look for updates on hardware markets outside GoPro's core camera line. In May, for example, Woodman used his appearance at Code Conference 2015 to officially confirm GoPro is developing a quadcopter with a targeted commercial launch of early 2016. And though many drone-makers already incorporate mounts for GoPro's cameras into their own quadcopter offerings, Daugherty analyst Chris Anderson already argued that its brand power could help GoPro quickly secure around 25% of the estimated $1.9 billion consumer drone market next year.
In addition, along with last quarter's report, GoPro announced it had agreed to acquire Kolor, a software company whose "spherical media solutions" GoPro insisted are "an essential building block of virtual reality." Woodman also used Code Conference 2015 to introduce a Six-Camera Spherical Array built to handle six Hero4 cameras positioned in different directions to capture virtual reality-friendly video. Then, using Kolor's software, GoPro users can combine the video into one unified experience for viewing on virtual-reality headsets and even regular smartphones and PCs.
Considering analysts at Piper Jaffray recently estimated that virtual reality will grow into a more than $60 billion industry over the next decade, GoPro obviously has plenty to gain if it can secure a central role providing the content to foster that growth.