Punters lose interest in gadgets and gadget makers

GadgetIn the middle of the Christmas shopping, expensive electronic gadgets like GoPro and Apple watches were being ignored, despite discounting.

Five of the six consumer electronics shares in the Russell 3000, including camera maker GoPro, headphone maker Skullcandy and GPS maker Garmin were down.  Apple shares have also been suffering.

According to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ, the gadget makers are down on average by 21 percent.  In fact the only one doing well is an outfit called ZAGG which makes coatings to help people protect the screens of devices they already own. ZAGG shares are up 61 percent this year.

Investors expected bigger things from the gadget market. It seemed logical that everyone one wanted everything digital.  Apparently clothes sales were better.

Apple and Fitbit have been adding features to their products to keep up interest but it does not appear to have worked. Shares of Fitbit are essentially flat from their first day of trading following the June initial public offering and down 44 percent from its high this year. Apple, too, has snapped its winning streak for investors and is now down three percent at the end of the year.

GoPro fell 71 percent this year as just about everyone who wanted a camera to record their extreme sports escapades has one. The company’s revenue growth over the past 12 months is still a respectable 62 percent, but that’s well below the 263 percent growth in 2011. The future is the more troubling part. Analysts are now expecting GoPro’s revenue to gain just 11.6 percent in 2016.