GoPro goes pro, bro, with a $3 billion IPO, yo
GoPro is officially a public entity.
The company known for its extreme action cameras was priced at $24 a share, and saw its stock rise as high as $33. As of this writing, the stock is around $31.
When GoPro filed its S-1, James Robinson and Michael Carney found much to like about the company's financials. Rapid Ratings, a risk management company, awarded GoPro a "financial health" score of 86 out of 100 -- Twitter, by comparison, only received a 19.
But despite strong profits and nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, GoPro's growth slowed a bit in the first quarter. And why wouldn't it? After all, most people have a stronger, more durable camera in their pocket than they would ever need. But thinking of GoPro as solely a hardware company misses the potential for the company in the content space. GoPro may sell a lot of cameras, but far more people watch the stunning videos captured by them. Here's more from Robinson and Carney:
Acknowledging the looming, long term competition its cameras could one day face from smartphones, the filing talks up GoPro as not just a hardware company, but also a yet-to-be-monetized content platform. Its desktop application, GoPro Studio, and GoPro App, 'reflect the early stages of our content management platform strategy,' the company writes. The filing further mentions that GoPro’s content has received 7.2 million likes on Facebook, while the brand itself has 2 million followers on Instagram, 950,000 on Twitter, and was the number one ranked brand on YouTube in Q1 2014, with 450 million video views and over 1.8 million subscribers. Crucially, the company said that as of the end of 2013 it had not derived a single piece of revenue from this content distribution but pursue new financial opportunities here in the 'near term.'And it's not just about content either. There's a strong lifestyle component to GoPro's brand. Stephen Baker, a VP at the consumer market research firm NPD Group, told the Verge, "GoPro wins because of its ecosystem, because people want to be associated with the brand. It is about lifestyle and not hardware — which is a good thing."
So as long as fans keep wanting to soak up GoPro's extreme brand-vibe, expect its stock to soar like so many of its camera-strapped daredevils, and not jump off a cliff.