GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) Q4 2019 Results Earnings Conference Call February 5, 2020 5:00 PM ET
Christopher Clark – Investor Relations
Nicholas Woodman – Chief Executive Officer
Brian McGee – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Conference Call Participants
Andrew Uerkwitz – Oppenheimer
Paul Chung – JP Morgan
Erik Woodring – Morgan Stanley
Jim Suva – Citi
Good day. And welcome to the GoPro’s Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Results Conference Call. Today’s conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Christopher Clark, please go ahead, sir.
Thanks, operator. Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to GoPro’s Fourth Quarter 2019 and Full Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call. With me today are Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s CEO and Brian McGee, GoPro’s CFO and COO.
Before we get started, I’d like to remind everyone that our remarks today may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements and all other statements that are not historical facts are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially.
Additionally, any forward-looking statements made today are based on assumptions as of today. We do not undertake any obligation to update these statements as a result of new information or future events. Information concerning our risk factors is available in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other reports that we may file from time to time with the SEC.
Today, we may discuss gross margin, operating expense, net profit and loss, as well as basic and diluted net profit and loss per share in accordance with GAAP and additionally on a non-GAAP basis. We believe that non-GAAP information is useful because it can enhance the understanding of our ongoing economic performance. We use non-GAAP reporting internally to evaluate and manage our operations. We choose to provide this information to enable investors to perform comparisons of operating results in a manner similar to how we analyze our own operating results. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP operating expenses can be found in the press release that was issued this afternoon.
In addition to the press release, we have posted slides containing detailed financial information and metrics for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. These slides as well as a link to today’s live webcast and a replay of this conference call, is posted on the GoPro Investor Relations Web site for your reference. All income statement related numbers that are discussed today during the call other than revenue are not GAAP unless otherwise noted.
Now, I’d like to turn the call over to GoPro’s Founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman.
Thanks, Chris, and good afternoon. Today, we’ll review our fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 performance, which was highlighted by our strongest new product line up ever and a successful return to revenue growth and profitability. I’ll also touch on our strategic priorities for 2020 and then Brian will walk you through our full year and fourth quarter financial performance and 2020 outlook.
In 2019, we grew revenue 4% year-over-year and earned $35 million of net income. This represents $67 million bottom line improvement over 2018. Adjusted EBITDA increased more than three times year-over-year to $72 million. We are proud of these achievements. And while our 2019 growth and Q4 results fell slightly short of our expectations, it’s important to step back and recognize just how much we’ve strengthened our business and balance sheet.
Some key highlights for the year that contributed to our profitability, where our proactive move of U.S. bound camera production to Guadalajara, Mexico, material growth of consumer direct sales at gopro.com and the growth of our high margin plus subscription service, which as of the end of January, totaled more than 334,000 paid subscribers. And importantly, our industry leading products continue to drive consumers to the high-end of our camera lineup, lifting both ASPs and gross margin.
We entered 2020 with the most exciting product lineup in our history, serving new customer segments like vloggers and ultra-creatives with increased performance and versatility. In Q4, we saw phenomenal sell through of both HERO8 Black and MAX during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday period. However, in December, sell through returned to levels still slightly up from the HERO7 line in the prior year, but below our growth expectations. Despite these dynamics, we generated fourth quarter revenue of $528 million, the third largest quarter in our history and $102 million in profit, our second most profitable quarter ever.
Importantly, consumers continue to gravitate towards our highest end products, which is having a positive impact on ASPs. A very positive trend is that in 2019, 90% of GoPro’s revenue came from the $300 and above price band, up from 62% in the prior year. And in the U.S., GoPro captured 93% dollar share of the action camera category in Q4 according to NPD Group. And we continue to grow our multi lens camera business with the introduction of MAX. According to NPD Group, during Q4 in the U.S., MAX, which only began selling on October 24th, captured 54% unit share and 66% dollar share of the spherical camera market. And when combining MAX with our legacy fusion camera, GoPro captured 62% unit share and 72% dollar share, up from 14% and 38% respectively year-over-year.
The innovations featured in HERO8 Black and MAX, including best in-camera stabilization of any cameras in the world, continue to keep GoPro on the cutting edge. And with the available media and light mods, which have both received positive reviews, and are selling well at gopro.com, we are now serving important new customer segments. And our plus subscription service continues to gain momentum as well.
As I mentioned at the top of the call, as of January 31st, paid subscribers grew 69% year-over-year to more than 334,000, up 10% since our Q3 earnings call. We expect strong growth to continue and in fact, we are targeting to have between 600,000 to 700,000 paid subscribers a year from now, which would contribute between $35 million to $40 million of high margin annual recurring revenue on a forward looking basis into 2021.
And in marketing, an important component of the HERO8 Black and MAX launch was our million dollar challenge where we invited our customer community to shoot our HERO8 Black and MAX highlight video. We were floored by the quality and volume of submissions we received. HERO8 Black and MAX users submitted more than 42,000 videos, an increase of 68% over last year’s million dollar challenge.
We awarded just over $22,000 to each of the 45 contributors who were selected for the video, which we published last week. In the first week since publishing, the highlight reel garnered more than 5 times the views of last year’s video. You can see this incredible showcase of our customers’ creativity, talent and passion on any of our brand channels, including Instagram and YouTube.
Initiatives like the million dollar challenge, bolster engagement within the GoPro community, and helped attract 4.2 million new social followers in 2019, up 29% year-over-year. On any given day in 2019, GoPro content generated more than 2 million organic views, which totaled a record 737 million organic views during the year, a year-over-year increase of 29%.
Turning to software, GoPro made significant progress in 2019. In Q4, monthly active users of the GoPro app grew 20% year-over-year and usage of the app’s automatic editing feature grew 400%. In 2020, we plan to monetize a new GoPro app experience that addresses widespread pain points that anyone with a smartphone or a GoPro faces, one that we believe GoPro is uniquely positioned to solve. We believe that our app strategy can significantly expand our team, while growing a new source of high margin revenue for our business. The time has come for GoPro to establish itself, not only as a leader in digital imaging hardware, but in software as well.
Our 2020 focus is this; maximize the profitability of our core hardware business by super serving our most engaged customers with high-end higher ASP products; scale our plus subscription business to 600,000 to 700,000 paid subscribers by year-end; and releasing new GoPro app experience to address what we believe to be a significant TAM and profit expanding opportunity. And we intend to do this, while keeping a tight rein on OpEx.
We are also focused on scaling our direct-to-consumer capabilities to further improve gross margin and profitability. In 2019, direct-to-consumer sales through gopro.com grew 40% year-over-year and generated more than 10% of our revenue. We are determined to aggressively build on this momentum in 2020.
Finally, as you saw on our press release, I am pleased to share that Brian McGee, who has served as GoPro’s Chief Financial Officer since March 2016, has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer, in addition to his ongoing role as CFO. Brian has proven himself to be a tremendously important leader at GoPro with a deep understanding of our business. And all of us at GoPro are excited to work with Brian in his new expanded role.
That’s a perfect segue to turn the call over to Brian, who will elaborate on our plans to expand profitability and create value for GoPro shareholders in 2020 and beyond.
Thanks Nick. On a personal note, I want to take a moment and say thank you to you and the Board for their continued compliments in me and my appointment to COO along with my ongoing role as CFO. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey, building on the momentum we have established over the past several years and driving value creation in the business in 2020 and beyond.
Now I’ll share an overview of our performance for 2019 and then discuss our outlook for 2020. For the full year 2019, revenue increased 4% to $1.195 billion. Excluding Karma, which we discontinued in 2018, revenue grew 7% year-over-year. On a GAAP basis, we incurred a full year net loss of $14.6 million but were profitable on a non-GAAP basis with net income of $35.3 million, in line with our goal to achieve full year profitability. In 2019, our GAAP EPS improved to $0.10 loss per share compared to $0.78 loss per share in 2018. While our non-GAAP EPS improved to $0.24 net income per share compared to $0.23 net loss in 2018. And adjusted EBITDA of $72 million represented more than three times improvement from 2018.
We are pleased with the positive impact our operational initiatives had on our financial performance as shown by the continuous improvement to our bottom line. Looking back in 2016, we had a non-GAAP net loss of $201 million, which has improved each successive year to a net loss of $96 million and $32 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively and finally, returning to profitability in 2019 with non-GAAP net income of $35 million.
Looking at the fourth quarter of 2019, we were profitable on both GAAP and non-GAAP basis with net income of $95.8 million and $102.5 million respectively. Non-GAAP gross margin was 38.6%, which was negatively impacted by tariffs and freight costs associated with our HERO8 Black production delay, which contributed to 180 basis point impact on gross margin and approximately $0.06 impact on EPS in the quarter. Our GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share for the fourth quarter was $0.65 per share and $0.70 per share, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter improved to $112 million, a 91% increase from $59 million a year ago.
Turning to the balance sheet. We ended the period with cash and cash equivalents of $165 million, an $86 million sequential improvement. Accounts receivable ended at $201 million and inventory declined $106 million sequentially ending at $144 million.
Now let’s discuss our quarterly business performance in more detail. Camera unit shipped during the quarter and for the year totaled 1.9 million and 4.3 million units respectively. Cameras, with retail prices above $300, represented more than 90% of our revenue in the fourth quarter and 90% for the full year, compared to 74% and 62% for the same periods in 2018 respectively.
The shift to higher price cameras reflects customer demand and our strategic initiatives to move the market to cameras with both higher ASP and margins. As a result, fourth quarter street ASP increased to $285, a 7% year-over-year increase and in line with our guidance for the quarter. Street ASP is defined as total reported revenue divided by camera units shipped.
We estimate camera unit sell-through for the fourth quarter and 2019 was approximately 1.4 million units and 4.3 million units respectively. And we ended the quarter with higher channel inventory based on the factors Nick discussed. We are pleased with the demand for new products, which generated $528 million of revenue for the quarter, our third highest revenue quarter in our history, reaching profitability on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis for the quarter. And we reached our second highest quarterly adjusted EBITDA of $112 million and exited the year with an operating model focused on balancing the need for continuous innovation and cost management.
With 2019 behind us, I will now provide guidance for 2020. In terms of product trends and impact on revenue, we are targeting camera ASPs to increase between 6% to 10% year-over-year due to sales of higher price cameras, as well as accessories and subscription revenue growth. Camera unit sales are expected to be 6% to 10% lower year-over-year, given channel inventory levels exiting 2019, which translates into guidance of approximately flat revenue year-over-year.
As I previously mentioned, we exited Q4 2019 with higher levels of channel inventory than anticipated. We expect demand for our products in the first quarter to be at historical level of approximately 850,000 to 900,000 units of sell-through. However, from a sell-in perspective, Q1 will be a quarter of correction of sales into the channel and resulting revenue is expected to be lighter than our historical percentage of Q1 revenue. The combination of normal sell-through and reduced sell-in will reduce channel inventory to appropriate levels exiting Q1.
With that concept, we expect following for Q1, revenue in the range of $140 million to $260 million, net loss of $40 million to $60 million; and cash to be essentially flat sequentially. We expect to be profitable for quarters two, quarters three and quarter four with expanded gross margin and EPS for the year. More specifically, for 2020, we expect gross margin to be in the range of 38% to 39%; non-GAAP earnings of $0.40 to $0.50 per share; GAAP earnings of a penny to $0.11 per share; EBITDA increasing to between $95 million to $110 million, approximately 50% growth at the midpoint year-over-year; cash to increase year-over-year by $80 million to $100 million. To summarize, we expect to continue to improve our profitability in 2020 with net income increasing $30 million at the midpoint of our outlook. We expect margins to increase through the year, while continuing our focus on effective cost management.
With that operator, we are ready to take questions.
[Operator Instructions] We’ll take our first question from Andrew Uerkwitz with Oppenheimer and Company.
The first question is, Brian, could you on the inventory piece and particular model that is higher than another. If you can give us a little color on what that inventory looks like?
Yes, I mean, if I compare to where we’ve been historically, our inventory book what we have on hand and what’s in the channel, our highest selling inventories, our newest inventory and in some years past, it was older inventory that we had to discount and to get rid of it. We don’t have that issue as I looked ahead to 2020. So that’s good. It’s sort of standard lineup, which is great. It’s also worth pointing out sell through levels. We expect $850,000 to $900,000 that’s a historical Q1. We are on track to hit that for the quarter. So based on the sell through we’re seeing and the like. So we feel good about the sell through and being able to get channel inventory aligned by the end of Q1, going into really good selling season in Q2, 3 and 4.
And then just broadly speaking, Nick, mentioned I think 90% of revenues, the higher price points. Is there more simplification that it can be done in a lineup or you’re still happy with the good, better, best strategy?
It’s important to have products for each of the customer segments that are interested in GoPro, and that we believe that we can get a good return on investment by developing products for. So I think that having a multi SKU lineup that addresses these important customer segments is a strategy that we’re going to stick with. Again, I’ve shared on the last call that good, better, best represents three customer segments. We’ve now moved past that. We’re now good, better, best and ultra creative, with the ultra creative customer segments being the one that MAX is designed for. So we’re very focused on identifying what the key customer segments we already sell to want most from us and then as well, it’s important that we identify new customer segments that we think that we can automatically serve and get a good return on investment from.
And then just kind of thinking longer term, it seems like you guys are still gaining share in the broader camera market. Where do you think the kind of normalized level of sales could be? Do you think we’ll get back to a sustainable growth level? Or is the camera, the broader camera industry headwinds will remain there? And so while you guys may gain some share, its revenue growth maybe a little bit more difficult. Should we kind of adjust our thinking there?
I think it’s a combination of strong execution and as I mentioned, identifying what customer segments, what problems exist that GoPro can uniquely serve and possibly add new customer segments to grow. But what we’re focused on for 2020 primarily is with the customer segments that we’re currently serving, doing an even better job of creating higher performance products for them and moving even the higher percentage of our customers up the food chain to higher gross margin, higher ASP products, we’ve proven that we’re really good at that.
As we shared in 2018, 62% of our business was revenue came from the $300 and above price band and we moved that to 90% in 2019 and we’re not done yet. We still got tremendous innovation coming in future products. And I believe we’ve done a pretty good job of building a reputation as a very fast paced, highly innovative company that’s capable of allowing our customers every year, and we’re not going to stop that anytime soon.
So maximizing profitability via that strategy is our focus. And as well, we see a pretty significant opportunity to expand GoPro’s TAM and ultimate relevance to a larger number of consumers by building on our capabilities as a software company to address what we think are big global problems shared by virtually everybody that uses a smartphone to capture photo and video content, as well as our existing GoPro customers as well. It’s an evolution of our strategy to leverage the strength and profitability of our hardware business to grow a new suite of products in the form of an app experience, and that’s something you’re going to see from us in 2020.
And then just to build on that, if you could just — it seems like a lot of the innovation the last couple years have been, obviously, probably equally shared between the app experience and the camera. Do you think that will continue in 2020, 2021? Or is there going to be a shift in focus to that more on the software side?
I can say without a doubt, you’re going to continue to see the same type of innovation, performance and overall wow coming out of our hardware, our camera development team. Our roadmap is really exciting. It’s the heartbeat of GoPro, and it’s something that we do really, really well. So I’m very confident that our multiyear roadmap in cameras and accessories will continue to excite. So there’s no taking the foot off the gas there whatsoever.
What I’m talking about is adding additional effort, investment and energy into bringing our software development up to the pace of our hardware development. That’s something that’s really important, because as I mentioned in my prepared remarks that I really do believe it’s time for GoPro to be recognized as a world leader in software as we are in digital imaging hardware. And I think that we’ve got the team and the expertise to do it, and I’m really excited for 2020.
We’ll now take our next question Paul Coster from JP Morgan.
It’s Paul Chung for Coster. Thanks for taking my questions. So just first up on GoPro plus, so nice growth there, I mean you mentioned I think 600,000 subs by the end of 2020. If you could kind of expand on how you get there? Is this more from your existing install base or more kind of dependent on new camera sales? And then, I know even if you do put up these sub numbers, it will still be around maybe close to $35 million in revenue contribution or around like 3%. So are there any other levers you can pull there like increasing pricing or providing more value added options to kind of entice your install base?
So growth is going to come from continued availability globally, improved marketing to drive awareness, we still have a lot of opportunity there to drive awareness improved just marketing and the benefits and experience to our customers. And then we’re not done rolling out benefits to attract additional customers. And then of course, we’ve got ongoing efforts to improve turn rate, which is an important part of any subscription service and we’re doing quite well there but we see opportunity to do even better.
So there’s no one lever that makes all the difference and in terms of getting that 600,000 to 700,000 number, but we’ve got a number of letters just as we have had in the past that we think we’re just going to continue to improve upon that business. And I just want to give a shout out to the team that’s responsible for plus they’ve been doing it for nominal job, and we’re really proud of the progress that we’ve made.
And then Paul, let me kind of add on to that. Nick mentioned churn, which definitely improved 20%. So we’re going after that. We’re seeing better retention on the plus side, which is great. And while 3% of our revenue is very profitable, it’s like 80 points margin and 40% to 50% operating profit. So it matters to the bottom line as we grow the AAR of this business, boosting our margins from our hardware business to an overall better level, as well as the bottom line.
And congrats on your expanded role. So what does that mean for the company in terms of direction, which areas are you going to focus your attention on? How will the strategy kind of change from the past year and then finally, how will your success to be measured?
Well, I hope it gets measured with a better stock price for employees and investors in GoPro. That’s number one. I think we laid it out I think pretty well on the 2020 and what we want to do, we’re going to grow margins. We’re going to expand EPS. We’ve guided almost a double on EPS year-over-year. We’ve got great product lineup. We’ll continue to innovate and we’ll continue to be more efficient in how we operate the business. And create room to be able to invest in the things Nick talked about on the software side, while still holding our OpEx into a window that keeps us profitable.
And then last question is I’m not sure if I saw free cash flow guide. So I’ve seen you expect some positive free cash flow, given your net income guide but if you could help us with your expectations for cash from operations, CapEx. Just want to get a sense for free cash flow magnitude for 2020? And then finally, where would you kind of look to deploy that extra cash? Thank you.
Again, in my prepared remarks, our expectation is to increase cash $80 million to $100 million in 2020 over our exit of 165 and 2019, so that’s very nice cash flow. No real big increases in CapEx. I think it stays at kind of historical levels. So it’s really driving the profitability and working capital, that’s going to make the cash improvement. And so when we get there, we can figure out to redo buyback or we do other things that have put the company in much better cash position looking forward to ’20 and ’21.
We’ll now take the next question from Erik Woodring with Morgan Stanley.
So if we just go back to the channel inventory and 4Q performance, I just want to piece together and make sure I understand that. What’s the reason you missed kind of your flow through expectations is that so in for the newer model, the new lineup wasn’t as good as you expected? Is that correct? I just want to make sure I had that right.
Could you ask the question one more time?
So I just want to kind of piece together, you said channel inventory is higher but it’s not a result of legacy models. It’s more kind of even across all the models. So if I combine that with your 4Q performance. Does that mean essentially some of your newer models or maybe this HERO7 Black didn’t so as well as you expected? I’d just love some color and kind of combining those two comments.
We had a really strong Black Friday Cyber Monday period where we were very happy with the sell-through that we saw. And then post Black Friday, Cyber Monday in December, we saw sell-through return to levels that were still up from the year prior, the HERO7 launch year, so that was good to see that growth year-over-year of our in line products. But the sell-through growth wasn’t what we expected, wasn’t as much as we’d expected and that resulted in us finishing Q4 with a bit more channel inventory than we were expecting.
Let me just add to that because as we look ahead into Q1, we are seeing sell through rate said that kind of historical level. So we’re going to be able to work our way through that inventory and off to the raises in Q2 and the rest of the year.
Yes, I think that’s really the key point that is important for people to recognize. Historically, we see 850,000 to 900,000 units of sell through in Q1 and we’re seeing that again for this Q1, which puts us in a good position channel inventory wise as we exit Q1 and enter Q2. So Brian, phrased it as a quarter of correction in his prepared remarks, but that’s really important to recognize that we believe we get out of the channel inventory issue by the end of Q1 and it sets us up for a profitable Q2, and then profitable Q3 and Q4, which is basically built on the strength of the product lineup that we’ve got out right now.
And just on the balance sheet, you guys have previously guided to cash and equivalents of $200 million, obviously, that is a little bit lower. And if you just — days payable looks like it was — it came down fairly considerably. So is working capital the kind of delta between where you ended up and where the guide was? And would just love some color on the days payable comment?
Yes, it was basically if you look at the balance sheet, accounts receivable is up significantly. And that’s just timing of when we get the cash from when we make a sale, so that’ll hit in Q1. So that’s definitely going to help working capital and cash flow in 2020, so that becomes more of a timing issue. And in inventory, we through we would be at $125 million, I believe and came in at $144 million. And that difference really relates more around the top line, so could we have the inventory. So those two are the dynamics on the cash.
And then if I could just sneak in a last one, I’d love to just hear any kind of reception you got after the launch of the mods, and especially if you could share anything that you’ve heard from, what I would consider kind of new customers for GoPro, meaning like the vloggers that maybe looking to GoPro cameras now where they hadn’t done it before? Thanks.
Well, general reception has been very positive for the mods ever since launch. And now that we’ve got the media mod and the light mod out, the initial reviews of those have been very positive, and they’re meeting or exceeding expectation, which is always great to see. And if sell through at gopro.com is any indication, people are really excited about them, because the sales are brisk.
So I think that we’ve successfully expanded the performance and versatility of our flagship in a really meaningful way that’s resonating with consumers, helping us reach new customer segments, as you know, like vloggers and ultra-creatives. And that’s encouraging because that’s a trend that we’re going to continue to pursue, recognizing that those types of customers make up the vast majority of our buyers and as well we get the best return on our development investment. So fortunately, our roadmap is aligned with what our customers seem to be interested in.
We’ll now take our final question from Jim Suva with Citi.
You mentioned Black Friday sales are very strong, but then they were still up year-over-year but do accelerated in the month of December after Cyber Monday. Any thoughts around why that deceleration happens? Whether it’d be changing promotions, change in our initial targeted selling base? Or why do you think there is actually a change? Thank you.
Well, there was mixed results across retail over that period. We saw some retailers do really well. We saw some retailers had some softness. So I think that there’s some macro issues going on there certainly. So that may explain part of it. As you noted, we did see a slight increase of sell-through of our inline products, the period of the December period year-over-year. So that was good to see. And yes, it was a tough comp from the HERO7 here. So we were happy to see that.
But yes, it wasn’t up to our expectations. We did have the terrific promotions during the period. And as we’ve shared our products — the lineup across the board has never been better at each SKU. So we expected to see a bit better performance than we did. I think it was a host of reasons. But honestly, there’s nothing conclusive that we’ve identified that would explain why we came up a little bit short.
Thank you. And that does conclude today’s question-and-answer session. I’d like to turn the conference back over to management for any additional or closing remarks.
Thank you, operator. I’d like to revisit how far we’ve come. In 2019, we delivered top-line growth or returned to full year profitability, and a meaningful improvement in EBITDA. And we believe our 2020 plan to super serve our most engaged customers with high margin, high end products, meaningfully grow our plus subscription business and launch and monetize a new GoPro app experience, all with a continued commitment to expense management, will allow us to grow both margin and EPS in 2020, generating value for shareholders.
And I want to thank you, give thank you to the more than 900 GoPro employees around the world who are getting it done on behalf of our customers. Your work has made GoPro the best selling camera in North America for the past six years, and I’m looking forward to making it seven in 2020. This is team GoPro signing off.
Thank you. That does conclude today’s conference. Thank you all for your participation. And you may now disconnect.