GoPro's pocket-size cameras are revered by sports enthusiasts, techies and gearheads. On Thursday, the video-camera maker will find out whether investors are just as enthusiastic about its products. GoPro begins trading as a public company on the Nasdaq after the market opens; its ticker symbol is "GPRO." GoPro has already sold 17.8 million shares to investors at $24 a piece, the high end of the expected range. That values the company at just under $3 billion. GoPro's sale raised $427 million in what could become the largest consumer electronics IPO on record. Duracell currently holds that spot with its $433 million public offering in 1991.
Last year GoPro was the No. 1 seller of camcorders in the U.S. and its profit rose 88% to $61 million in 2013. Revenue jumped 87% to $986 million.
Bloomberg IPO reporter Leslie Picker says GoPro was able to get a higher valuation because the company has pitched itself as a media company. The approach is "a bit unique," she says, but it reflects the company's future growth strategy.
GoPro is just one of a handful of IPOs that investors are closely watching this week. Michaels Stores, the arts and crafts mecca, makes its debut as a publicly-traded company Friday. Overall, the U.S. IPO market remains hot -- 144 new companies have listed on U.S. stock exchanges so far this year, raising a total of $30 billion. 2014 is on pace to be the busiest year for the IPO market since 2000 in terms of dollar value and the number of deals, according to Dealogic.
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