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GoPro confirms layoffs, shuts down Karma drone division

Action-camera leader GoPro confirmed in a press release plans to reduce headcount by about 300 with the closure of its Karma drone division. Restructuring costs will be $23-$33 million – about half of which will be severance – recognized in the first quarter.

The company also reported a price reduction in its HERO5 Black camera for the holidays significantly increased demand for year-old model, as well as strong demand for the Fusion spherical camera.

In a related story, CNBC reports GoPro has retained JP Morgan to consider partnership or sale options:

“GoPro CEO Nick Woodman CNBC earlier Monday that the company would consider a sale or partnership with another company, though it plans to remain independent.

‘If there are opportunities for us to unite with a bigger parent company to scale GoPro even bigger, that is something that we would look at,’ Woodman said.”

In other news, GoPro announced an update for the software of its Fusion 360-degree camera, and has expanded distribution to more worldwide markets.

The new Mobile OverCapture feature in the update of its GoPro App  allows the user to create a new, separate video from a 360-degree capture. A video describing the feature is here:

GoPro has also unveiled a new 2018 pricing structure for its HERO6 and HERO5 cameras. HERO6 is now priced at $399.99, HERO5 Black at $299.99 and HERO5 Session at $199.99.

The complete announcement is below:

GoPro Announces Preliminary Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) today reported certain preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017.  GoPro expects revenue to be approximately $340 million for the fourth quarter of 2017.  Fourth quarter revenue includes a negative impact of approximately $80 million for price protection on HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session cameras, as well as the Karma drone.

GoPro expects GAAP gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2017 to be between 24% and 26%. Non-GAAP gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2017 is expected to be between 25% and 27%.  Non-GAAP gross margin for the same period, excluding the price protection impact of $80 million and other charges of between $19 million and $21 million, is expected to be between 44% and 46%. GoPro expects GAAP operating expenses to be between $136 million and $140 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 and non-GAAP operating expenses to be between $118 million and $122 million for the same period.

GoPro ended the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $247 million, up $50 million over the third quarter of 2017.

“As we noted in our November earnings call, at the start of the holiday quarter we saw soft demand for our HERO5 Black camera,” said GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman.  “Despite significant marketing support, we found consumers were reluctant to purchase HERO5 Black at the same price it launched at one year earlier.  Our December 10 holiday price reduction provided a sharp increase in sell-through.”

GoPro HERO6 Sets New Bar For Image Quality, Stabilization And Simplicity
GoPro HERO6 Sets New Bar For Image Quality, Stabilization And Simplicity

Globally, HERO5 Black sell-through more than doubled in the two weeks following the December 10 price reduction, while HERO5 Session sell-through roughly tripled.

Sales of the newly introduced flagship HERO6 Black camera performed as expected during the fourth quarter. On January 7, GoPro lowered the price of its premium model, HERO6 Black from $499 to $399 to align with its good, better, best product strategy.

Initial uptake of GoPro’s newly launched spherical camera, Fusion, was better than expected during the quarter.

“GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018,” said Nicholas Woodman.  “We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap.  We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018.”

2018 Products and Operating Expenses

In 2018, GoPro will continue to innovate with several new products aimed at new and existing customers.  GoPro’s sharper focus will enable an $80 million reduction in operating expenses compared to 2017 levels, resulting in a target operating expense level of below $400 million for 2018 on a non-GAAP basis.

The lower non-GAAP operating expense target will be achieved through a variety of strategies, including:

  • GoPro is reducing its global workforce from 1,254 employees as of September 30, 2017 to fewer than 1,000 employees worldwide.
  • GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1.
  • Although Karma reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market. Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead. These factors make the aerial market untenable and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers.

A restructuring of GoPro’s business will result in an estimated aggregate charge of $23 million to $33 million, including approximately $13 million to $18 million of cash expenditures as a result of a reduction in force, substantially all of which are severance and related costs, as well as approximately $10 million to $15 million of other charges, consisting primarily of non-cash items. GoPro expects to recognize most of the restructuring charges in the first quarter of 2018.  GoPro will provide more detail on its 2017 results and 2018 outlook in its fourth-quarter earnings report which will take place in early February.

About GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO)

GoPro makes it easy for people to celebrate and share experiences. We believe life is more meaningful when shared. We build cameras, software and accessories that help the world share itself in immersive and exciting ways.

GoPro, HERO, Karma, Quik, QuikStories and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

For more information, visit www.gopro.com or connect with GoPro on FacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and GoPro’s The Inside Line.

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