Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) - Get Report have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors.
UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" line up of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) - Get Report Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note.
PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) - Get Report and Barclays (BCS) - Get Report , which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler.
APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) - Get Report and Samsung.
PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
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