GoPro's IPO, Nike's Hot Quarter, and B&N's Big Nook Move

Wall Street's performance Thursday made us want to pop open some Jim Beam infused weekend pancake syrup a bit early. (It goes on breakfast or in a shot glass.) The Dow (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  dropped more than 120 points in the morning, but finished the day down 21 points as investors begin to worry about the economy's post-winter rebound.

1. GoPro camcorder soars after IPO
Any IPO is go-time. That's when the CEO opens his company up to millions of people who want to own a piece. The perfect material that's good to capture this experience? A GoPro camera. It was with great excitement that GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO  )  CEO Nick Woodman live-streamed his company's IPO on Thursday in the tech-focused Nasdaq stock market.

GoPro's one of those rare headline IPOs involving a company that actually makes things. Since Skullcandy headphones went public in 2011, Wall Street hype has focused on tech IPOs (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp) -- but GoPro is killing it with just a simple camera. The top-selling camcorder last year is used by surfers, bull riders, sky divers, and other adrenaline junkies desperate for Red Bull.

It's also popular with boring people who want to record their boring lives every minute of every day. With that target demographic in mind, the company sold 17 million shares for $24 each, raising more than $400 million in capital -- and that meant giving up only 14% of the GoPro's total shares.

So how did GoPro go? With cameras rolling, the stock blew up 31% on its virgin day in the markets, rising to $31 per share. This opening performance values the dynamic electronic company at more than $3 billion -- and makes Woodman a billionaire.
 
2. World Cup endorsements boost Nike stock
This earnings report just did it. Shares of legendary sports retailer Nike (NYSE: NKE  )  rose more than 3% in after-hours trading Thursday after detailing its well-played quarter. Revenue rose by $7.43 billion, 13% greater than the same period last year, and notably higher than the $7.34 billion Wall Street was expecting.

Flopping European soccer players may be the most pathetic thing contact-sport-worshiping Americans have ever seen on TV, but they're paying Nike's bills. Nike's known for owning the endorsement game, and managed to sign 10 of the world's "most marketable" soccer players ahead of the World Cup. Adidas signed only three, and Puma just one.

The takeaway is that Nike's looking for an upset in the world of soccer. The sultan of swoosh may be Planet Earth's largest sportswear designer, but Adidas has historically controlled the "football" market like a young David Beckham (the only soccer player we could think of). Now, the Brazil World Cup is giving Nike some serious brand recognition outside America.

3. Barnes & Noble spinning-off Nook tablets
If you love reading your morning MarketSnacks on a tablet, then bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  )  has some headline-worthy news for you. The bookseller's Board of Directors decided to separate the company's retail business from its Nook tablet business, spinning-off Nook into its own publicly traded company by 2015.
 
The takeaway is you probably prefer an iPad or Kindle. Apple and Amazon dominate this market, and the Nook's $87.1 million in revenue last quarter was a 22% drop from the previous year. But as B&N's overall revenue has risen 3.5% in the last year, management thinks Nook can make it on its own -- and Wall Street agreed, sending the stock up more than 7% Thursday.
 
As originally published on MarketSnacks.com.
 

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