GoPro (GPRO) is in a league of its own, and the league just became more exclusive. The San Mateo, Calif., company, which went public in late June, announced a new line of its trademark wearable cameras today.
Two versions of the eagerly anticipated GoPro Hero4, as well as a less expensive model called simply the GoPro Hero, were unveiled on Monday. And today’s product roll-out is great news for GPRO stock.
GoPro Hero Protects Its Achilles Heel
I wrote an article on Sep. 10 applauding GoPro for its remarkable innovations and enviable position in the camera industry. Wall Street was starting to take notice, too, and GPRO stock was trading around $68 per share — or more than 180% above its $24 IPO price.
The GPRO stock rally has continued since then, and it’s now surged more than 260% from its IPO price.
GoPro stock continued to win over Wall Street today, after the newest line of GoPro’s famous point-of-view durable cameras countered a threat to its dominance; while tech geeks are probably far more excited by the $500 GoPro Hero4 Black and $400 Hero4 Silver models, anybody with GPRO stock should be swooning over the lowly $130 GoPro Hero.
That’s because the affordable Hero protects GoPro from the swarm of bloodthirsty competitors anxious to undercut GoPro on pricing with cheap wearable cameras marketed to the masses.
In his review of the newest models, the Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler concludes that after today’s release, “GoPro is now worth considering as the go-anywhere camera for the rest of us.”
“The rest of us,” meaning anyone who isn’t firmly entrenched in the world of extreme sports.
That’s quite a boost to GoPro’s market size.
To be fair, casual consumers have been using the GoPro for a while — they’ve just been paying upwards of $200 to do it. You don’t get to nearly $1 billion in annual sales without some mainstream adoption.
A lengthy piece on the GoPro appeal and its growing grip on our culture appeared in The New Yorker last week. Entitled “We are a Camera,” writer Nick Paumgarten recounts how his son won a GoPro in a school raffle two years ago and took it on a ski trip. He marveled at the sensation he got when watching his son’s footage:
“I didn’t need a camera to show me what he looked like to the world, but was delighted to find one that could show me what the world looked like to him. It captured him better than any camera pointed at him could.”
While the GoPro Hero4 may target more avidly outdoorsy types, the GoPro Hero, at $130, just might be enough for GPRO stock to keep running higher.
As of this writing John Divine held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.