GoPro IPO: definitely not so-so as share price jumps 30%

IPO WATCH: Shares in the all-action video camera company leaped more than 30% on their Nasdaq debut, valuing it at $3bn.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 15 May 2015

IPOs have been a mixed bag lately, after the excessive excitement greeting the rash of floats earlier this year was dampened by some disappointing debuts. There’s still life in the stock market yet, though, as GoPro surfed triumphantly onto New York’s Nasdaq exchange.

Shares in the company, whose waterproof cameras are beloved of ski bums and surfer dudes self-filming their exploits, soared more than 30% to $31.34 (£18.41) on their first day of trading yesterday. It had already priced its shares at the top end of its $21-$24 range and the listing was several times oversubscribed, according to the FT.

That values GoPro at nearly $3bn, although it was already worth $2.25bn when electronics manufacturer Foxconn invested $200m at the end of 2012. It sold 3.8 million of its hardwearing cameras last year, as revenues almost doubled to $986m, and has been profitable for the last three years (more than Twitter can say...).

The company also wants to expand into content - for example, by getting companies to pay to promote their own GoPro footage to the brand’s 2 million YouTube subscribers. Founder Nick Woodman did say that idea was in its ‘early days’, but some analysts have raised an eyebrow at the company being valued at a higher earnings multiple than Apple when it's still dependent on high margin hardware sales.

Nonetheless, it’s a pretty sweet outcome for 38-year-old Woodman, who went surfing for five months in Australia and Indonesia to get inspired after his first company perished in the dotcom crash.

‘There is a karmic magic that happens when you help the world express themselves in this way,’ Woodman, now a billionaire, told the FT. Far out man.

Check out the cheesy video GoPro posted on YouTube to celebrate its IPO (all filmed on GoPros, natch):

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