Courtesy of Fitbit

Stock jumps on strong debuts.

By Aaron Pressman
March 31, 2016

Fitbit says it has already shipped one million each of its two newest activity trackers, the Alta and Blaze, within a month of debuting.

The news sent shares of Fitbit up 6% to $14.25 in morning trading on Thursday, a modest boost for a stock that has lost almost three-quarters of its value since August.

The $200 Blaze, which went on sale at the end of February, is aimed at fitness junkies who want to track their heart rate, sleep cycle, and other health data continuously in real-time, along with some features borrowed from smartwatches like text and calendar alerts.

The $130 Alta, on sale since March 9, is a sleeker wristband that is intended to be more fashionable with interchangeable covers in multiple colors.

Blaze hit the one million-mark shipping to North America, Europe, Latin America, and some parts of Asia. The new band won’t reach China, Korea, and Japan until spring, the company said. The cheaper Alta has mainly been available in North America and some parts of Asia so far, again with wider distribution planned for spring.

Even with the strong early sales, analysts are split over whether Fitbit can remain one of the rare fast growing, profitable hardware makers amid competition from Apple, Google, and others.

Fitbit’s shares reached almost $52 in early August, before the company reported a slight dip in its gross margin, prompting a long-running sell off. A difficult secondary share offering on November 13, which was priced below the previous day’s closing price, spurred a further bout of selling.

The wearable tech company’s outlook for 2016, delivered last month along with strong fourth quarter results, failed to impress, prompting yet another leg down for the stock price.

Despite investor disdain, Fitbit CEO James Park continues to deliver strong financial results. Fitbit’s revenue more than doubled last year to $1.86 billion as consumers bought more than 21 million of its trackers, and net income more than tripled to $123 million.

Still, profits per share rose only 19% to 75 cents as Fitbit’s shares outstanding exploded after it went public in June.

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