Fitbit is having a bad day

Gadgets, Mobile

Fitbit is, once again, not having a good day after spending the year in mostly middling status as it looks to prove there’s a market for fitness trackers as well as its own smartwatch.

The culprit today is a Wall Street firm slapping a “sell” rating on the company’s stock, which often results in a resounding rejection of its potential going forward and sparks a sharp drop-off in the company’s share value. Fitbit fell around 8.5 percent this morning after a year that tried to recover from a steep decline at the beginning of the year amid uncertainty around its business.

Here’s a look at what happened:

Fitbit’s now down more than 16 percent in the last year. Volatile companies are often vulnerable to these kinds of swings as a result of Wall Street firms rating the shares, which can range from recommendations to buy or sell the stock based on its performance or analysis of its potential business.

For Fitbit, that’s bad news, because the company needs to keep its share price up as companies can use shares as part of compensation packages when they try to hire new people. There’s also always a morale component, as the stock price is a very public-facing barometer of the company’s performance (even if people try to argue against its importance), and one that can wave off potential talent that would be interested in joining the company.

The last update we got from Fitbit was a slew of apps coming to its Ionic smartwatch, which included the addition of apps like Yelp and Uber. But as Apple continues to retool the Apple Watch with new features for health tracking, which appears to be working in a way to detect some common conditions according to a study from UCSF, it’ll face increasing competition when people look at it as a health tracker.

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