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GoPro (GPRO) Growth Plans on Track: Rebound in Cards?

Zacks Equity Research

Wearable and action camera maker GoPro, Inc. GPRO is forging ahead with its product endorsement and growth initiatives. The company’s recent collaboration with global automotive company Ford Motor Co. F is the latest in the spate of deals inked with athletes, sponsorship events and industry leaders to broaden customer base.

In particular, the companies have come together to develop an original content series titled “Unstoppable Life” that can comprehensively capture the lifestyle of passionate athletes. “Unstoppable Life” is a tribute to the passionate and indomitable sprit of athletes, a vision that is shared by Ford. This series promotes Ford’s “Be Unstoppable” SUV line-up and also highlights GoPro’s keenness to transform itself from a camera maker to a content developer.

Growth Efforts

GoPro is making strategic investments in talent, technology, software and innovative products for quite some time now. In early February, the company inked a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft Corporation MSFT to access certain file storage and system technologies patents. Also, it joined hands with Toyota late last year for the installation of GoPro mounts in trucks.

Further, the company extended its agreement with Tour de France and is prepping for another season with MotoGP, the world's premier motorcycle racing championship. Last month, the company inked an exclusive marketing and promotion deal with energy drink company Redbull, covering critical areas like content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation.

GoPro has been diligently working toward promoting its products through concentrated marketing efforts. Buoyed by this, the company has been enjoying great brand strength and recognition. As per a survey conducted by GoPro, in the first quarter, the GoPro Mobile App was downloaded 2.8 million times, leading to nearly 27 million cumulative downloads. On the other hand, GoPro Studio installations were about 1.5 million.

Better Times Ahead?

GoPro has been on wobbly grounds over the past two years – rallying shortly after the IPO, steadily declining in the second half of 2014, turning around in the first half of 2015 and then going down from the second half of the year. Factors like cannibalistic product launches, softness in the U.S. wearable cameras market, waning sales of Hero4 Session cameras and so on were documented as primary reasons for stock nosedive.



However, a recent report by JP Morgan shows that a silver lining may be just round the corner for GoPro. The company’s channel inventory may witness a lower-than-expected decline, signaling at an uptick in demand for its products going ahead. Also, analysts at JP Morgan believe that the company’s marketing initiatives are reaping the desired results as sales have been stabilizing over the past few months. Also, an improved product line-up is adding to the bullishness over the company. 

The recent deals with Ford and Redbull highlight the company’s strategy to reach out to customers ranging from professionals to amateur enthusiasts. We believe GoPro’s efforts to metamorphose into a diversified product and software & entertainment firm coupled with hints of a rebound in the second half of 2016 will probably help the company pacify the skeptic investors.

GoPro currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the industry is Dolby Laboratories, Inc. DLB with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  

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