GoPro: HERO6 and Fusion will top out our turnaround

Chris Davies - Aug 3, 2017, 4:33 pm CDT
GoPro: HERO6 and Fusion will top out our turnaround

GoPro’s new HERO6 is on track for release later this year, with the troubled action camera company looking to it and an innovative new model to flip the firm into profitability. The commitment came as part of GoPro‘s Q2 2017 financial results, announced today, which unlike recent quarters contained more than its fair share of good news. Still, that came at a not-inconsiderable price.

GoPro recorded $297m in revenue, a healthy rise of more than a third year-on-year and 36-percent compared to the previous quarter. Gross margin was down from 42-percent in Q2 2016 to around 36-percent, but even with that GoPro managed to trim its losss. Operating loss was, at $25m (GAAP), less than a quarter of the previous year’s losses, while net loss was, at $31m (GAAP) a third.

GoPro credits the HERO5 Black for the marked improvement over 2016. Indeed, it was apparently the best-selling digital camera in the US in the quarter, and – despite not actually being discounted – sold a week’s worth of units in a single day on Amazon Prime Day. The GoPro Karma, meanwhile, was apparently the second-best selling drone in the US in Q2 2017.

Still, it took more than just product to turn the ship around. GoPro had a second round of employee layoffs back in March, axing around 270 staff. Previously, it had made a further 200 redundant.

Looking ahead, GoPro sees two products as sealing the deal. The HERO6 is, unsurprisingly as the name indicates, the successor to the HERO5. GoPro hasn’t detailed its specifications yet, though company CEO Nick Woodman has previously said that one of the focuses on the action camera is improving color reproduction.

More interesting, meanwhile, is the GoPro Fusion. That’s the company’s 5.2K spherical camera, first revealed back in April. It’ll be capable of regular video and photos, but will be primarily positioned as a way to capture full spherical footage. Later on, users will be able to open that footage and reframe it to pick the scene they prefer the most.

GoPro is calling this OverCapture, and it’ll effectively allow a Full HD slice of the frame to be saved. That way, it’s as if you have multiple regular GoPro cameras pointing in all directions, and don’t have to worry about what angle they’re facing until you get to post-processing.

Together, GoPro says it expects full-year, non-GAAP profitability in 2017. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to drop below $495m for the full 2017 year, while for Q3 specifically it says it should see revenues of around $400m.

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