By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
After making a series of cost cutting measures including laying off staff and simplifying their product line, GoPro is finally seeing a return to profitability. With a first quarter earnings call, the company shows sales are once again back up.
“GoPro has turned a corner, restoring growth and profitability of our business… We dramatically reduced operating costs without impacting our product roadmap. We are now focused on driving consumer demand to reach our goal of full-year double-digit revenue growth.” – GoPro CEO Nick Woodman
After the near disastrous recall of the Karma drone, and sales which seemed to have dropped due to lower-priced action clones, GoPro was forced to institute a cost cutting plan that would give the company more “runway” to weather the storm. Those measures accomplished the intended goal of buying the time necessary, but it was also the unexpected success of the Karma Grip that boosted the company’s bottom line.
During their third quarter results earning call, CEO Nick Woodman reported that the company’s revenue was up 37% to $330 million, with a cash balance of $197 Million. Net income was about .10 a share, a cast improvement over a year ago when GoPro was looking at a staggering $104 million loss. It’s a remarkable turnaround. Check out the stock price:
GoPro has been able to reintroduce the Karma drone with necessary fixes, and begin development of the HERO6. At its heart, the sixth generation action camera has a newly designed GP1 image sensor for better performance and high dynamic range. It’s GoPro’s best camera yet!
“We launched our premium-priced HERO6 Black with global on-shelf availability and strong critical acclaim,” Woodman added.
Then news came of the Fusion, the company’s first 360° spherical camera with the innovative new feature known as OverCapture, that essentially punches out a 2D image from anywhere within the 360° space. It’s a very cool feature that essentially sold me on the potential that 360 video can provide as a proper filmmaking tool, and not a gimmick.
The product launch of both the HERO6 and Fusion was met with great fanfare in San Francisco back in September, and the image quality matches that hype. But what was missing was any news of a follow up for the GoPro Session, and a second generation Karma Drone.
“Demand for GoPro’s entry level Session was much higher than anticipated… This new camera will be one of several new products planned for GoPro.” – Woodman
While we don’t know anything new about a Karma drone, Woodman promises a new Session will be forthcoming after the first of the year. He also says that the Session will be one of several new products that are planned, and I can’t help but wonder if it will be at the heart of a smaller Karma drone, which will go head to head with the DJI Spark. I can see a small Karma drone designed for entry level clientele who wish to take more selfie-style aerial shots. This is just speculation on my part.
More details of the quarterly earnings can be found here (registration required). But as Woodman said at the end of his call, “It’s impossible to not be excited about the future.”