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Fitbit's weak profit forecast clouds healthy holiday beat
[BENGALURU] Fitbit Inc's current-quarter profit forecast missed Wall Street estimates by a wide margin, as the wearable fitness device maker aggressively invests in new products, sending its shares down more than 16 per cent in after-hours trading.
The lackluster guidance overshadowed the company's comfortable quarterly revenue and profit beat in the holiday shopping season.
Fitbit has been diversifying its portfolio of colorful wristbands and clippable devices that track calories, sleeping patterns and heart rate, to better compete with rivals as well as to tap new markets and demographies.
The company last month unveiled its US$200 smartwatch, Blaze, to mixed reviews. Earlier this month, Fitbit announced a new wristband, Alta, to appeal to the more fashion-conscious customer.
"We're ramping up manufacturing as fast as we can for Blaze and Alta," chief financial officer Bill Zerella said in an interview, referring to the devices that will ship in March.
Mr Zerella said the company's production was now entering a scale that could support a global launch.
Investor sentiment around Fitbit has turned bearish over the past few months due to concerns over rising competition from Apple Inc's Apple Watch line, which sports many fitness-related features including a workout app and a heart-rate sensor.
Fitbit said on an adjusted per-share basis it expects to break even to a profit of 2 US cents for the quarter ending March, lagging analysts' average expectation for 23 US cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said it sold 8.2 million wearable devices in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, a 55 per cent jump from a year earlier, and above the 7.5 million expected by analysts, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.
Fitbit's net income attributable to common stockholders rose to US$64.2 million, or 26 US cents per share, in the quarter, from US$11.9 million, or 19 US cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 35 US cents per share.
Revenue nearly doubled to US$711.6 million from US$370.2 million.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 25 US cents and revenue of US$647.8 million.
Fitbit's revenue forecast of US$2.4 billion-$2.5 billion and adjusted profit of US$1.08-$1.20 per share for 2016 was largely in line with expectations.
Shares of the San Francisco-based company were down 15 per cent at US$14.04 in after-hours trading on Monday after closing up 5.9 per cent.
The stock, which has lost nearly 70 per cent of its value since hitting a high in August, has been trading below the June IPO price of US$20 all this month.