Fitbit, Inc. :FIT-US: Earnings Analysis: Q3, 2016 By the Numbers : November 16, 2016

Fitbit, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Fitbit, Inc. – Apple Inc. and NIKE, Inc. Class B (AAPL-US and NKE-US) that have also reported for this period.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 500.74 million, Net Earnings of USD 26.12 million.
  • Gross margins widened from 51.66% to 53.60% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 10.54% from 17.64%.
  • Year-on-year change in operating cash flow of -156.03% is about the same as the change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Narrowing of operating margins contributed to decline in earnings.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2016-09-30 2016-06-30 2016-03-31 2015-12-31 2015-09-30
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 500.74 587.91 505.53 711.57 408.68
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 22.53 46.83 50.12 553.93 N/A
Earnings (mil) 26.12 6.34 11.04 64.17 45.83
Earnings Growth (%YOY) -43.01 -1.49 -7.56 2037.41 N/A
Net Margin (%) 5.22 1.08 2.18 9.02 11.22
EPS 0.11 0.03 0.05 0.26 0.19
Return on Equity (%) 9.57 2.44 4.43 29.07 24.32
Return on Assets (%) 6.31 1.58 2.85 18.45 15.88

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

FIT-US‘s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of 22.53% is almost the same as its change in earnings, and is about average among the announced results thus far in its peer group, suggesting that FIT-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by -14.83% and earnings by 311.92% compared to the immediate last period.

Revenues Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Leader, Earnings Focus, Laggard, Revenues Focus

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s earnings declined year-on-year largely because of the increases in operating costs. Its operating margins (EBITDA margins) went from 17.64% to 10.54%. This decline in earnings would have been worse except for the fact that the company showed improvement in gross margins, from 51.66% to 53.60%. For comparison, gross margins were 50.49% and EBITDA margins 2.86% in the immediate last period.

Gross Margin Versus EBITDA Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Differentiated; Low Cost, Commodity; Low Cost, Commodity; High Cost, Differentiated; High Cost

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

FIT-US‘s gross margin improvement has not produced any big difference in its working capital. Working capital days are currently 163.02, compared to last year’s level of 153.04 days. This leads Capital Cube to conclude that the improvements in gross margins are likely from operating decisions and not trade-offs with the balance sheet.

Gross Margin Versus Working Capital Days

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Customer Financed, Cash Starved, Supplier Financed, Cash Rich

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

FIT-US‘s change in operating cash flow of -156.03% compared to the same period last year is about the same as its change in earnings this period. Additionally, this change in operating cash flow is about average among its peer group. This suggests that the company did not use accruals or reserves to manage earnings this period, and that, all else being equal, the earnings number is sustainable.

Operating Cash Flow Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Cash Flow based Earnings, Likely Non-cash Earnings, Low Cash Flow Base, Likely Undeclared Earnings


The company’s decline in earnings has been influenced by the following factors: (1) Decline in operating margins (EBIT margins) from 16.33% to 8.28% and (2) one-time items that contributed to a decrease in pretax margins from 16.24% to 8.87%

EBIT Margin Versus PreTax Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Operation driven Earnings, One-time Favorables, Low Earnings Base, One-time Unfavorables
EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

Access our Ratings and Scores for Fitbit, Inc.

Company Profile

Fitbit, Inc. engages in the development of wearable device which tracks data of an individual’s health. It offers products which can track a person’s activities, such as calories burned, sleep quality, steps, and distance. The data collected allows an individual to monitor their progress towards their own personal goals. The company was founded by Eric N. Friedman & James Park in March, 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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