GoPro became a public company this morning, trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker GPRO. The stock was priced near the top of its range at $24 a share and quickly rose to $30 in early trading, meaning the company is worth a little more than $3 billion.
Investors were rattled earlier by financials from GoPro, which showed that the company's first quarter revenue was down roughly 8 percent from what it took in during the same period of 2013. The company had previously shared some encouraging stats, reporting that it earned $60.6 million in profit off revenues close to $1 billion last year. But continued growth will be critical to building momentum behind the young stock.
Investors are worried the company's growth has stalled
GoPro is hoping that the extreme sports lifestyle, and the millions of videos its users upload to prove they are living it, will provide the company with a secondary business in digital media. It has popular accounts on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and recently added a dedicated channel of GoPro videos to the Microsoft Xbox and an in-flight video deal with Virgin American.
The quality of smartphone cameras continues to increase, as does the durability of the devices that house them, but GoPro has one advantage its mobile competitors can't build against. "I don't see anyone effectively competing with them because focusing on the quality of the hardware is missing the point," Stephen Baker, a VP of industry analysis for the NPD Group, told The Verge. "Go Pro 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."