Action-camera maker GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) finished a second strong day of trading Friday, jumping more than 14 percent to close at $35.92.
Company shares are up nearly 50 percent since its red hot debut Thursday on the Nasdaq. The company had a valuation of over than $4 billion entering the weekend.
The highly touted technology company makes wearable cameras that record video in high definition. Along with appealing to surfers, skateboarders and other enthusiasts, the technology has been worn by the Rolling Stones and was awarded an Emmy award in 2013 for its contribution to the television industry.
While the IPO has been a success, a number of experts have reservations about GoPro’s ability to expand. In the company’s S-1 executives admitted that GoPro relies on camera and attachment sales “for substantially all of our revenue, and any decrease in the sales of these products would harm our business.” That worry has morphed from a concern into a reality, with GoPro’s year-over-year revenue growth falling to 87 percent from 127 percent in 2012, according to Wired.
New Media Company
Even as GoPro’s IPO debut dominates the conversation on Wall Street, the company is in the midst of a transition from simply being a camera manufacturer to a 21st century media company.
Reaching out past YouTube, where the GoPro channel has millions of subscribers, GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman has signed deals that brought GoPro content on to Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system. Exclusive homemade videos can also be broadcast on a GoPro channel on Xbox Live. The company has not made any money on either of these deals yet, but the S-1 makes it clear that executives think they will soon collect revenue from advertising on the aforementioned venues.
There is also concern about large smartphone companies developing their own action camera and undercutting the price of a GoPro, which can range from $199 to $399.
Much of the appeal lies not in the actual video, but in the image that wearing the device projects. Customers watched more than 50 million hours of videos that had “GoPro” somewhere in the title over the first quarter of 2014 alone. By wearing such an identifiable product, a GoPro customer is subtly announcing to the world that they are doing something worth recording.
“They don’t just sell a video camera, they sell the memory of the wave or the ski trip down the slope,” Ben Arnold, a consumer technology industry analyst at the NPD Group, told Wired. “I think we are entering an age where lifestyle in technology is becoming very important.”