GoPro Dives; 4 Small-Cap Growths Picks To Buy Instead

GoPro, Inc. (GPRO - Analyst Report) stunned the market after the bell yesterday as it released dismal preliminary fourth-quarter 2015 results, weeks before its scheduled earnings release on Feb 3. The action camera-maker’s string of announcements included weaker-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter, downsizing the workforce, and the stepping down of a key executive.

The ensuing dive in GoPro stock was as extreme as the moments its cameras seek to capture. GoPro’s stock plummeted nearly 25% in after-hours trading following the announcement, skiving hundreds of millions of dollars off the company’s market capitalization.

GoPro said its fourth-quarter revenue would be about $435 million, which represents a decline of a whopping 47% year-over-year. It had earlier forecast sales of $500 million to $550 million during the busy holiday season. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter sales currently stands at $513 million.

The company expects to record a $21 million charge related to the re-pricing of its HERO4 camera. In addition, it would book an expense of $30 million to $35 million for excess inventory, excess parts and obsolete tooling to make the cameras — which might really hurt margins for the quarter.

Next on tap for the company are pink slips. After a headcount growth of about 50% in the past two years, GoPro now intends to lay off 7% of its workers. This calls for a charge of another $5 million and $10 million, mostly in severance costs.

In recent months, the company has been struggling to achieve its earlier rapid growth, and has faced friction in proving that it can innovate beyond its trademark action cameras. Its latest camera, the Hero 4 Session, failed to hold consumers’ interest at a time when the market for action cameras is becoming increasingly saturated.

The events indicate a sharp reversal of fortune for GoPro. After its IPO in June 2014, investors were racing to buy the company’s stock. After hitting a record high of $98.47 in October 2014, the company’s shares have been skidding downhill as growth has slowed. The stock has plummeted 70% in the last year, and is now trading at all-time lows.

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