GoPro's (NASDAQ:GPRO) wild ride continues. In the two months following the action-camera maker's initial public offering, the investment has seen more ups and downs than its users' signature videos. After shares were priced at $24 for the IPO, the stock quickly raced up 100% to nearly $50 per share before content monetization and valuation concerns crept in, dropping the investment to the mid-$30s.
However, GoPro is approaching its high-water valuation mark once again by boasting a near-$6 billion market capitalization. And as often occurs with new and volatile companies, opinions vary widely as to its future path. As such, it pays for potential investors to consider both a bullish and a bearish argument before deciding whether to buy the company. Here are three reasons why GoPro's stock could rise.
Media could start to contribute to GoPro's top line
The common knock against GoPro as an investment is that it's overvalued. And for those who have followed the company there is a specific reason for this high valuation: CEO Nick Woodman selling his company as a media company during the IPO. That's important because media companies -- particularly social media -- have higher valuation multiples than consumer electronic companies.
However, in its IPO filing -- the S-1 -- GoPro told perspective investors, "As of December 31, 2013, we had not derived revenue from the distribution of, or social engagement with, our content on the GoPro Network." Essentially, GoPro admitted to being a social-media company that made no money from social media.
But that appears to be changing; In a recent interview with JPMorgan, CFO Jack Lazar gave more details on how GoPro plans to monetize content. Specifically, the company intends to license company content. In addition, Lazar mentioned ad-based revenue from the company's YouTube channel and possible monetization of a video-editing product.
GoPro is making headway in its host of social-media channels -- the GoPro Network, as it calls it. For the last quarter, the company reported its number of videos published on YouTube were up 160% year over year, views were up 200%, and minutes watched rose 270%. As you can see, GoPro's content library is both growing and becoming more popular.
Mounts and accessories could lead to new end users
Right now, many think GoPro's differentiator is its cameras. Personally, I disagree -- when it comes to the filming experience, GoPro's mounts and accessories set it apart from the competition. In the end, many types of cameras and camcorders compete on lenses and specs; GoPro competes on experience. In short, you can do things with its Hero+ line you can't do with any other camera.
And while many associate GoPro with adrenaline junkies, it can tap into a host of other markets. A recently released accessory called Fetch gives insight into new and potentially lucrative end markets. The mount is designed to be placed on your dog. And while many may find this market for the dogs (pun shamelessly intended), remember that Americans spent a record $56 billion on pets last year. Tapping into the pet market by simply manufacturing a new mount should help GoPro's bottom line.
International diversification will continue
GoPro continues to make headway in global markets: International revenue as a percentage of overall revenue jumped from 37% in 2011 to 49% in 2013 as sales rose from $86.6 million to $483 million. The company boasts of selling products in more than 100 countries and more than 25,000 retail outlets. As GoPro further expands its brand in international locales, look for growth to continue.
There is no doubt that GoPro is richly valued. Trading at a trailing 12-month price-to-sales ratio of 5.6 and a trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio of 170 times, it is priced to perfection. However, if GoPro can monetize content, continue to grow its international footprint, and seek new markets and end users, the company might just grow into its lofty valuation.