Fitbit wasn’t projecting much of a holiday sales boom this year, but the leading maker of fitness trackers is seeing a wave of app downloads that may signal a merrier Christmas than expected.
The company’s app, which buyers of new bands must download to set up and use their Fitbits, reached No. 2 among all free apps on Apple’s iPhone app store on Tuesday, behind only Super Mario Run. And it reached No. 8 overall among free apps in Google’s (GOOGL) Play store.
With the positive signs from the app stores, Fitbit shares (FIT) gained 8% on Tuesday to close at $7.83. Still, at just under $8 a share, the stock price is 39% below where it was last month when the company announced disappointing guidance for holiday sales.
In the past, Fitbit sales typically explode in the holiday shopping period; the company’s revenue increased 92% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to 2014. But on Nov. 2, CEO James Park warned that manufacturing problems and a downturn in China would limit growth and sales for this fourth quarter to only 2% to 5% higher than last year. Fitbit’s shares tumbled 30% within minutes on the news followed by additional declines over the next few weeks.
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Park has made several moves to get growth back on track, including the recent purchase of the assets of defunct smartwatch maker Pebble. Fitbit is planning to add more smartwatch-like features to its fitness trackers, as rival Apple (AAPL) has focused more on the health and fitness features.
For more on Fitbit’s push towards employers, watch:
It is possible that the strong app download data alone may overstate Fitbit’s position, however. The app data represents “considerable holiday gift purchases and related installs,” CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler wrote, but not enough to significantly change the stock market’s long-term opinion about the company’s value. And Fitbit was not mentioned by Amazon (AMZN) as among the most popular wearables sold by the e-commerce site, he noted. That list was dominated by products from Garmin (GRMN), probably the most athlete-focused of the wearables makers.
It may take some hot new products for investors to really get excited about the stock. Even after Tuesday’s mini rally, Fitbit shares remain down 73% for the year.