Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Karma meets karma: GoPro exits drone race due to poor sales

GoPro CEO says he'd consider a sale, but is still planning to be independent Karma meets karma: GoPro exits drone race due to poor sales
Delia Stanley | 11 January, 2018, 09:20

In light of the weak sales, it's hard to imagine which companies might buy GoPro, especially since the company also said this morning that it will exit the drone business after unloading the rest of its Karma inventory. GoPro shares are also down by 75 percent from their $24-a-share price when the company went public in June 2014. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 704,907 shares of company stock valued at $6,478,800. GoPro said that new regulations being considered in the USA and Europe would reduce the overall market for recreational drones.

"GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018", said Nicholas Woodman. GoPro's stock immediately plunged roughly 30%, reaching as low as $5.04 at one point before recovering a little. Bank of America upped their price objective on shares of GoPro from $8.00 to $9.00 and gave the company an "underperform" rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports that the action camera maker has hired JPMorgan Chase to help it explore the possibility of a sale.

In particular, the company forecast its revenue will fall sharply by 37 per cent to $US340 million, which is far short of Wall Street estimates (of a more lofty $US472 million).

The company was already forced to announce a price cut on December 10 for its core camera product, the HERO5, due to weak pre-holiday sales.

Woodman, 42, rocketed to the top of the Bloomberg Pay Index, a ranking of the highest-paid USA executives, as GoPro shares soared after its initial public offering, boosting the value of his 2014 equity grant. Apple would certainly have the cash to buy GoPro this year, especially if it repatriates a massive chunk of the cash hoard it has overseas, as most analysts generally expect it to do.

When GoPro launched the Karma, its first drone designed for the company's cameras, in September 2016, it was already facing an uphill battle after production delays and a market dominated by drone maker DJI.

Earlier today, CEO Nick Woodman told CNBC GoPro it would look at opportunities to "unite with a bigger parent company".

GoPro is exploring a sale after a tumultuous couple of years that included multiple rounds of layoffs, shrinking sales, and a plummeting stock price.

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