As Fitbit limbers up for its first results report as a public company this week, it can be glad the market for fitness bands is growing at a rapid clip. Yet there may be a higher cost for staying in the race.
Garmin reported last week that revenue in its fitness category increased in the second quarter by just 5% year over year—its slowest growth ever for that segment. Worse, the division’s operating margin was just 21% compared with 42% a year earlier. Garmin cited “competitive pricing dynamics” along with currency impacts and stronger sales of lower-priced products in the mix as the main reasons for the weak performance.
How that bodes for Fitbit’s numbers, out Wednesday, remains to be seen. As the market leader, Fitbit is believed to have strong pricing power. But competition is rising fast.Xiaomi launched its ultracheap Mi bands in the U.S. in late May, starting at just $15. Fitbit’s bands start around $100. Another wild card is the Apple Watch, which went on sale early in the June quarter and is believed by several analysts to have sold about 2.5 million units.
Xiaomi has already made an impact. In the first quarter, its share of the global market for wearables—which include fitness bands among other devices—jumped to 25% from zero the year before, according to IDC. Fitbit’s sales more than tripled in that time, but its share of wearables still went from 45% to 34%, IDC says.Analysts already expect tighter margins for Fitbit. Its margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is forecast to come in at just 12% in the second quarter, excluding stock-based compensation, according to FactSet. That margin was 26% a year earlier. But analysts project revenue to surge 181%, year over year.
Maintaining rapid growth along with a healthy bottom line is a challenge facing many tech companies. Raising the stakes for Fitbit is another familiar accouterment in the sector: a rather fat premium garnered since listing in June. Fitbit now trades at about 77 times forward earnings. At that level, the company will have to keep its strong lead without being tripped up by its rivals.
FitBit: Cramer doesn't think the marketplace fully understands the power of the ecosystem that has been created by FitBit. Maybe they will get it when it reports.
Gareth is responsible for Fitbit's Sales and Marketing organizations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in Global Sales and Marketing, and if he'd worn his Fitbit during this time, it would have earned millions of steps across Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe. Gareth previously worked as a GM in Europe for Coca-Cola and Mars and then for consumer electronics companies Iomega, Kodak Cameras, and Flip Video. He helped pioneer the successful introduction of Kodak Digital Cameras into Europe in the early 2000s and was involved with Flip Video both before and after the Cisco acquisition. At Fitbit, Gareth led launches in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Dubai, and South Africa.
Mark is responsible for Sales and Channel Marketing in North and South America, focusing on growing Fitbit’s business with our best in class retail partners. Mark has 20 years of sales and marketing experience with mobile and wireless consumer electronics products. Prior to Fitbit, he led US sales for TomTom, was VP of Sales and Marketing for Navigon (now a Garmin brand) and held a variety of sales management roles in the PDA and smartphone industry at Palm, Inc. Mark has a BS in Marketing from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. His Fitbit spends a lot of time visiting customers and logs many steps while running through airports.
James Park a mirror image of Steve Jobs? I was told to purchase Apple stock 1998 because Steve was coming back.I just entered the market saw that Apple was in trouble new nothing about Technology was uneducated for a possible turnaround then on top of it all they are selling very low quality products.Life goes on
Megan K., 38, a kindergarten teacher in Philadelphia, PA, had tried to lose weight before, but nothing seemed to work. “I’ve struggled with my weight on and off throughout my life,” says Megan. “And I had always been interested in fitness, but I was never able to stick with it.” So when Megan learned about Fitbit trackers from a friend last spring, her husband took note. “He bought me a Fitbit One for my birthday,” says Megan, “and it was love at first sight.”
“I was instantly motivated by having a step goal,” she says. “Once I saw I could regularly hit 10,000 steps, I was unstoppable.” Megan spent the summer working out in the mornings, going for a walk or to the gym, and reaching her step goal by daybreak. And soon tracking steps became a family activity—Megan’s son began joining her on daily walks. “It’s really important to me to be a good example to my son,” she says.
When she returned to school in the fall, Megan was 40 pounds lighter and her co-workers were impressed. “A lot of people were asking how I did it,” she says. Megan was more than happy to share her secret. She managed to convince the school’s human resources department to purchase 10 Fitbit trackers for employees to “check out,” and use to compete against each other in monthly challenges. The other teachers love the program. “There are always 10 people using the ones from the school, and at the end of the check-out period a lot of them end up buying their own Fitbit trackers!” says Megan.
Today, Megan and several of her co-workers spend their free periods and lunches walking together, and the group of 10 has grown to over 30 teachers. “It really changed the culture of our work environment—even the students notice it,” says Megan. “We push each other to be more active, and I’ve increased my goal to 15,000 steps a day now,” she adds.
Adding more steps to her daily routine was a good start, but Megan knew if she really wanted to improve her health she wouldn’t get there with a fitness-only approach. She also made an effort to make better food choices. “Being active and eating well go hand in hand,” she says. “Once you start doing one, the other catches up.”
Her one-step-at-a-time approach is ultimately what helped Megan lose all of her extra weight. “It can be overwhelming to try to do 10,000 steps all at once,” she says. “But it’s really surprising how quickly it can all add up.” And after losing 100 pounds, it has certainly has added up!
Megan’s initial goal to simply walk 10,000 steps a day has also lead her to try new workouts and activities. These days Megan can be found running, swimming, and biking, too. “My Fitbit has changed my life,” she says, “I’m more active than I’ve ever been, and my Fitbit One has made it so easy for me to get here.”
Megan’s advice for others:
Rack Up the Steps All Day
“Trying to do 10,000 steps at once didn’t always fit into my schedule, and seemed hard to do,” says Megan. “But going on a little walk in the morning, and another after lunch helped my steps add up.”
Set Goals that Work for YOU
“I know some of my coworkers are hitting 30,000 steps on a regular basis, and it’s tempting to compete with that—I really hate losing,” Megan says. “So sometimes I have to remind myself that’s a lot of steps, and that number isn’t always realistic for me on a daily basis. 15,000 is what works for me, and that’s still super active.”
Believe It’s Possible!
“Even if you’re someone who struggles with fitness, or if being active doesn’t come naturally to you, you can do it—and it can all be done with walking,” says Megan. “You don’t have to go out and kill yourself every day, just set a goal with Fitbit and ease into it.”
I will give myself a thumbs up for this article.August 5th hurry up I am an impatient person.
Another disgruntled idiot that cannot afford to purchase Fitbit.
SunTrust Bank Inc. is the third-largest bank in Memphis and one of the largest players in the Southeast, but it's also branching out to Silicon Valley in search of new investment.
In August last year, SunTrust became one of a handful of banks to offer the San Francisco-based health technology firm FitBit Inc. a credit line of more than $180 million. Regional banks are well-versed in business lending and credit, but FitBit is different.
As this Wall Street Journal article points out, regional commercial banks are almost never financial players when it comes to startups. That world is dominated by the very largest Wall Street banks and small investment firms who either have huge balance sheets that could handle the loss or are specifically tailored to handle high-risk lending.
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"It's a neat example within the bank of a lending relationship that evolved into a good investment banking relationship as well," said Mark Brommer, investment strategist with SunTrust's Investment Advisory Group in Memphis. "We're proud to be a part of that deal."
Mary Ann Hodges, managing director of Private Wealth Management at SunTrust in Memphis, is a big believer in the product herself, finding it a much better option than the other fitness tracker she had been using.
"I went through several Jawbones," Hodges said. "But this one hasn't given me a moment's trouble."
FitBit went public in June, and since opening with a share price of about $29, the price has increased to more than $45.
As per our playbook, I’ve been patient in waiting for good pitches before taking swings. This week, in the midst of this current stock-market weakness, I’ve started nibbling on some of my favorite long-term Revolution Investing stocks and now I’m going to step in and add a new name to the portfolio.
Let’s look at one of the leading wearable companies on the planet, FitBit FIT, +3.51%
I am starting a small position in some FitBit common stock today because I see big potential upside if this company delivers on the possibility of becoming an entire ecosystem of wearable technology and big data. Cody invested in many tech companies that eventually took off Apple being one of them.Very smart investor
I am baffled on why people would spend top dollar for a very low quality phone referring to the iPhone because people are not to swift?
Better yet I would not be surprised if he owns an Apple product a very low quality product at that.As stock climbs you will have a lot more of this.