Fitbit’s Dim Q1 Forecast Comes Amid Smartwatch Gains

As the global wearables market continues to grow, the latest earnings results for Fitbit show that the company had a 3 percent year-over-year increase in sales for its own devices, with revenue dominated by the newest models. The company also touted gains in smartwatches.

However, its outlook for Q1 2019, which was more negative than analyst anticipation, sent the company’s stock down 13 percent on Wednesday (Feb. 27) in after-hours trading.

During Q4 2018, the wearables provider said it sold 5.6 million of its devices, and that the average selling price per unit fell 2 percent to $100. Three new devices — Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Ace and Fitbit Charge 3 — accounted for 79 percent of Q4 revenue.

The wearables provider continues to grow in smartwatches, noting that those devices made up 44 percent of revenue for the full year in 2018, up from 8 percent in 2017. Fitbit “became the number-two player in the smartwatch category in the U.S., and grew the number of devices sold in the fourth quarter,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO.

Still, investors were not pleased on Wednesday with the first quarter forecast offered by Fitbit. Analysts had anticipated a Q1 revenue forecast of $272 million, and a loss of $0.15 per share. Instead, Fitbit forecast revenue of $250 million to $268 million, and a loss of $0.22 to $0.24 per share.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, Fitbit revenue stood at $571.2 million, relatively unchanged from the $570.8 million in the same period last year. Net income was about $15.4 million, compared with a net loss of $45.5 million.

Recent data said that global shipments of wearable devices would reach 125.3 million units in 2018, an 8.5 percent increase from the previous year.