GoPro Inc (GPRO) Stock Was Just Another One-Hit Wonder

Last month, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) CEO Nick Woodman was interviewed by CNBC. Though it’s certainly old news by now, it’s worth revisiting… not because it was compelling, but because, in retrospect, it was alarming to current and would-be owners of GPRO stock. In short, Woodman is still trying to sell the premise to investors, even though he’s no longer able to sell the company’s hardware to consumers.

GoPro Inc (GPRO) Stock Was Just Another One-Hit Wonder

Sure, there will always be some sort of market for action cameras, and if nothing else, GoPro is the most recognizable name in the business.

That’s just not enough, though. Whether Woodman wants to see it or not, there’s just not much of a future for GoPro.

No Encore

Giving credit where it’s due, Nick Woodman made a good point, sort of. That is, he said investors should focus on the company’s fifteen-year history rather than the past year and a half of troubled results.

There’s a flipside to that coin, though. That is, the company’s earliest non-IPO investors who bought into the hype — anywhere between $28.65-$98.47 — shortly after its 2014 IPO are now down between 71%-91% on their positions. It’s a little tough to take solace in the company’s long-term existence when you’re that deep in the red after believing the pre-IPO hype Woodman had mustered. We didn’t hear that same long-term sermon in the months leading up to the initial public offering for GPRO stock.

To that end, while Woodman wants the market to focus on the bigger picture, he may not realize that in some regard that’s exactly what it’s doing. Investors are looking for the next big growth engine from GoPro, but there simply doesn’t seem to be one. The Karma drone was supposed to be it, but it wasn’t. The VR-filming Odyssey rig was ballyhooed, but didn’t mean much in the way of revenue. GoPro spent hundreds of millions of dollars to become a media venue, but it never panned out.

So, why would investors expect the future to be any different than the past? GoPro was a one-hit wonder, plain and simple.

Reality Check

It’s time to talk tough truths… Woodman was passionate about the premise, and investors fell in love with the idea of a high-quality action camera. They were so blinded by that love, in fact, that they didn’t ask any of the right questions.

The one glaring one they didn’t ask: What’s the plausible, sustainable market for action cameras, regardless of where and how they’re mounted? As it turns out, while most everyone respects the fact that GoPro makes great action cameras, most everyone doesn’t actually want to buy one. And, even the photographers and videographers who buy one don’t necessarily want another one.

It’s just not a mass market product. It never was.

The close-second question most early owners of GPRO stock didn’t ask: What’s the plan to stave off the competition that would inevitably rise?

There wasn’t one. Nobody cares, though. Traders were too enamored by the hype.

It’s not like we haven’t seen it before. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was once all the rage, but in the meantime consumers have figured out there’s just nothing all that riveting or marketable with the sharing and reading of other peoples’ passing thoughts. Snapchat parent Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) can call itself a camera company all it wants. But, at the end of the day, it’s just an app that allows users to overlay various doodles on their digital pictures. Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) has the potential to help improve a person’s fitness, but when all is said and done, most stop wearing them within a matter of months because it doesn’t really tell consumers something they don’t already know.

Interestingly (though not surprisingly) all three of those stocks are miles below their post-IPO highs.

GoPro is cut from the same more-hype-than-results cloth.

Looking Ahead for GPRO Stock

Again, Nick Woodman isn’t wrong. If nothing else, we have to respect that fact GoPro has been around for fifteen years, and 2015 was its best year ever.

On the other hand, investors can’t afford to buy GPRO stock based on its past. They invest in a company based on its plausible future. GoPro has yet to convince anyone that it’s going to muster meaningful growth at any point in the next fifteen years.

In other words, Woodman can make whatever argument he wants. Traders generally see past the rhetoric, though, given enough time. The fact that GoPro stock remains within reach of record lows, despite Woodman’s optimism, speaks volumes.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

©2023 InvestorPlace Media, LLC