Fitbit, which helped pioneer the wearable devices craze, posted year on year trackers growth for the first time in three years, getting a boost from its new Inspire line. Smartwatch sales also more than doubled in the quarter.
The San Francisco based company said new devices launched in the past 12 months, including the Inspire brand, made up 67 percent of revenue in the quarter.
Fitbit said it sold 2.9 million devices in the quarter, 36 percent higher than a year ago. Average selling prices fell 19 percent to$91 per device as it focused on cheaper devices to compete with tech heavyweights Apple and Samsung .
Analysts expected the company to sell two million devices at an average selling price of $109.33, according to data from FactSet.
To keep pace with rivals, Fitbit has focused on value prices - selling Inspire at $69.95 and the HR version, capable of heart rate monitoring, at $99.95. Apple’s smartwatches start at $279 and Samsung’s watches and trackers lead in at $200.
Fitbit’s Health Solutions business grew 70 percent in the quarter and posted revenue of $30.5 million. The unit is focused on subscription-based fitness coaching services that connect users with doctors, hospitals and lifestyle coaches.
The company’s net loss narrowed to $79.5 million, or 31 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 30 from $80.9 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Fitbit reported a loss of 15 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of a loss of 22 cents.
Revenue rose to $271.9 million from $247.9 million, above Wall Street expectations of $259.7 million.
Fitbit reaffirmed its full-year revenue forecast of $1.52 billion to $1.58 billion, expecting to sell more devices at cheaper prices.
For the second quarter, Fitbit forecast revenue between $305 million and $320 million, the midpoint of which is slightly below the average analysts’ estimate of $312.8 million.
The company forecast an adjusted loss for the second quarter between 17 cents to 20 cents per share. Analysts’ estimate a loss of 16 cents.
Fitbit generally produce good products, but do seem to have a problem with dropped Bluetooth connections which prevent proper syncing and have to be fixed by the tortuous process of getting the Bluetooth phone to forget it ever saw the Fitbit, plugging the watch into the phone, holding it down until it smiles, then adding a Bluetooth device on the phone. It is a bit of a pain in the arse to have to do that every week or so.