Shutterfly Surges as GoPro Drops

The markets are flat this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) within a point of breakeven shortly after 11 a.m. EDT. Shutterfly (NASDAQ: SFLY  ) was a notable outperformer, surging in early trade, while other tech stocks, including Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) and GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO  ) , are losing value.

Shutterfly said to be seeking a sale
Shutterfly shares rose more than 14% early on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported that the website had hired Qatalyst Partners to help facilitate a sale. Bloomberg notes that the talks are in preliminary stages and that a deal may not happen, but investors are obviously reacting positively to the news.

Shutterfly could be an attractive acquisition target for a larger tech firm or an e-commerce giant. As it stands, Shutterfly allows its users to buy tangible products based on the digital photos they've taken. Its most popular product is its photo book, a physical book containing printed images of user-taken digital photos.

Shutterfly shares are up more than 200% in the last five years, but recent performance hasn't been particularly stellar. Over the last 12 months, shares of Shutterfly are down more than 14%, as the company has struggled to deliver performance consummate with analysts' expectations.

Hoping for an acquisition is never an ideal strategy, and if Shutterfly's business is deteriorating, investors piling in may be stung by disappointing earnings reports in future quarters. Still, if a deal does happen, it will likely come at a premium.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Google makes a music acquisition
Google shares were largely flat in early trading on Wednesday following news that the search giant had acquired Songza, an Internet music-streaming service.  

Songza's defining feature is its expert-curated playlists, aimed at offering music selections based on a wide variety of situations and moods -- for example, songs to listen to while working in an office, working out at the gym, or when feeling sad.

Google is leaving Songza's website intact for the time being, but will incorporate its key features into its own premium streaming music service, Google Play Music. The move notably follows rival Apple's acquisition of Beats. Like Songza, Beats Music includes curated playlists, aimed at helping subscribers discover new music. Songza seems unlikely to have a notable effect on Google's core search business but could prove fundamental in helping the company grow its Android ecosystem over the long-term.

The head of Android, Google's Sundar Pichai, recently told The New York Times that Google's forthcoming car integration could allow it to eventually play a bigger role in its users' lives, doing things like changing the music playing in a car to something kid-appropriate when it detects that children have entered the vehicle. As Google's Android ecosystem evolves to offer features like this, Songza could prove instrumental.

GoPro finally tumbles
GoPro shares have fallen almost 10% today. There was no particular reason for GoPro's decline, but the sharp sell-off is hardly surprising in the context of GoPro's recent moves.

Since GoPro began trading last week, shares have finished every session higher. Even with Wednesday's sell-off, shares of GoPro are up almost 50% since last Thursday and more than 80% from its initial offering price of $24 per share. The digital camera company is now valued at significantly over $5 billion.

Unlike other recent IPOs, GoPro, which makes a tangible product, is operating profitably, and is seeing rapid growth. Still, investors may be skeptical that GoPro can justify its present valuation, which appears to assume future sales growth of nearly 70%.

Until GoPro shares settle down into a range that investors are broadly comfortable with, further volatility appears likely.

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Sam Mattera

Sam has a love of all things finance. He writes about tech stocks and consumer goods.

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8/27/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16654.77 Up +369.26 +2.27%
GOOG $637.61 Up +8.99 +1.43%
Google (C shares) CAPS Rating: ****
GPRO $47.76 Up +1.48 +3.20%
GoPro CAPS Rating: **
SFLY $38.81 Up +0.80 +2.10%
Shutterfly, Inc. CAPS Rating: *
AAPL $112.92 Up +3.23 +2.94%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****