GPRO: No One Can Compete With GoPro

GoPro (GPRO) is sexy and it knows it. Wall Street knows it, too, and since the wearable camera-maker went public this summer on Jun. 27, the stock is up nearly 180% from the $24 GPRO IPO price point.

gopro gpro stockGPRO stock itself certainly deserves a fair look, especially from any investor interested in high-growth, momentum stocks with a lot of potential. The guerrilla marketing behind GoPro has been world-class from the start.

First, the company basically invented a niche, offering durable, small cameras geared toward fans of outdoor activities and extreme sports. As you might imagine, that demographic tends to be young and relatively gung-ho.

GPRO stock has taken off because its product is genius in the sense that it markets itself. Slap a GoPro on your surfboard, and upload the wipeout footage to YouTube. Skydive. Fly a plane. Jump on a trampoline. Put a GoPro on your head, and go swim with sharks…then upload the footage to YouTube. Please don’t, actually. I’m merely sharing some of the crazy situations that GPRO cameras have managed to capture and share with millions of admiring, sometimes cringing, fans.

While GPRO stock has soared since its IPO, sales nearly reached $1 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, and GoPro churns out steady profits, that’s not to say that the company doesn’t have competition. In fact, that was one of the main concerns going into the GPRO IPO: what’s to stop the bigwigs like Canon (CAJ), Sony (SNE), Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung (SSNLF) from jumping in the mix with wearable action cameras of their own? Also, isn’t Google (GOOG) already going after that whole wearable camera segment with Google Glass? That’s a two-part question addressed to myself. Allow me to field this.

Sure, the usual camera titans pose some risk to GPRO stock. Any one of them can imitate the product that GoPro popularized, and several of them have. Still, Canon and Garmin will never have the brand appeal and buzz that GPRO has built on its own from scratch.

The technology would have to be overwhelmingly better than GoPro’s for GoPro users to abandon their brand loyalty, and even if the tech is superior, if the price point’s too high, forget it.  As for Google, Google Glass is a long way off from entreating on GoPro’s territory as it faces a mountain of privacy issues, legal concerns, and technical tweaks. Also, Google Glass is more or less the antithesis of cool in its current iteration, so there’s that, too.

GPRO stock represents a business that is new, flashy and happening. Wall Street analysts are starting to pay attention, and GoPro has a bright future given plenty of room to run in overseas markets and its focus to becoming a content company in addition.

That said, the meteoric rise of GPRO stock comes with plenty of risk. The stock market hasn’t been too volatile in a long time, and in the case of a steep pullback, GPRO stock will be prone to skydive.

As of this writing, John Divine was long GOOG common stock.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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