Fitbit beats Q1 revenue expectations, CEO insists first smartwatch is ‘on track’
Despite a couple of high-profile acquisitions and steady domination over a slowly but surely growing wearables market, Fitbit ended 2016 on a decidedly sour note, laying off 110 employees as holiday sales and profits came in well below expectations.
At first glance, the American company’s Q1 2017 financial results are hardly stellar, with revenue down from $505 million this same timeframe last year to $299M, and net loss per share of $0.15. But analysts were actually predicting stockholder deficits of 18 cents on earnings of around $280 million, so Fitbit has every reason to stay optimistic about positioning itself for the “next stage of growth within wearables and connected health.”
It would certainly help if that long overdue first full-on smartwatch came sooner rather than later, though CEO James Park appears to suggest recent rumors of delays and production troubles have been greatly exaggerated.
He’s not saying the fitness-focused Apple Watch “killer” will launch this or the next quarter, mind you, merely insisting that all “new product introductions are on track” and “business is going as planned”, which is why “we are reaffirming our full-year guidance.”
Namely, Fitbit believes it’s going to be able to rack up total 2017 revenue of between $1.5 and $1.7 billion, keeping net loss per share in the $0.44 – $0.22 range.
Back to the January – March interval, let’s also mention unit sales were down YoY from 4.8 to 3 million, though no less than 36 percent of customers had already purchased a Fitbit before. Oh, and devices introduced over the past 12 months (Charge 2, Flex 2 and Alta HR) generated 84 percent of overall revenue. That’s really not so bad.