GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) can't seem to catch a break these days. Investors pushed the stock lower by as much as 10% last week following the camera maker's fourth-quarter results. However, it wasn't because the company fell short of expectations in the quarter. In fact, GoPro delivered record results with revenue climbing 75% to $634 million in the period and earnings of $0.83 per share, up more than 100% over last year. Both revenue and profit trumped Wall Street's estimates by a wide margin in Q4.
But investors punished the stock on weak guidance for the current quarter, as well as the surprise exit of GoPro's chief operating officer, Nina Richardson. The mountable camera maker said it expects a first-quarter profit in the range of $0.15 to $0.17 per share. Analysts, on the other hand, are looking for earnings-per-share of $0.17 in the first-quarter.
The expiration of GoPro's lock-up period later this month is also weighing on the stock. The lock-up on the company's secondary offering ends on Feb. 17, at which point the company's insiders will be entitled to sell more than 50% of GoPro's total outstanding shares.
Despite these near-term pressures, long-term investors should consider the following three reasons to love GoPro stock in 2015 and beyond.
GoPro generates more than half of its sales within the United States today. This creates a massive growth opportunity for sales of its cameras overseas going forward. The company made significant advances on this front during the fiscal 2014 including the opening of its sales and marketing headquarters in Europe and new sales initiatives in Latin America, Australia, Japan, Korea, and China.
The company is gaining traction abroad. GoPro's revenue growth in its Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions significantly outpaced that of its Americas market in Q4. Additionally, GoPro recently entered the Chinese market where two of the country's largest online retailers are now hawking GoPro cameras in addition to other select retailers in the region.
"We are happy with the initial sales results in both online and off-line channels and see positive indication that GoPro has the opportunity to succeed in China, one of the world's largest consumer markets," said Nick Woodman, GoPro's CEO. Ultimately, international expansion should fuel meaningful revenue growth in the year ahead.
In addition to international expansion, GoPro is also building a foundation that will enable it to better monetize the consumer-generated content on its GoPro Network down the road. Thanks to the rise of social media, advertisers need content that is equal parts relatable and shareable -- GoPro's user-generated content fits the bill beautifully.
During the fourth-quarter, the GoPro channel on YouTube achieved more than 98 million views, up 34% year-over-year. This engaging content has helped the company generate significant brand awareness on key social media platforms. Moreover, GoPro's Facebook followers grew to 8.3 million in the quarter, while its Instagram followers grew a whopping 162% year-over-year to 4.2 million.
Looking ahead, Woodman says, "what you're going to see from us in the future is a new user experience related to the management and editing of that content to facilitate more sharing. And then from that, we will have an expanded media opportunity." If GoPro can successfully monetize this media by licensing the content users upload to its site, it could create significant upside for patient investors.
The company is also bringing GoPro to live television thanks to its partnership with Vislink -- thereby giving investors yet another reason to love the stock in 2015. Together with Vislink, GoPro's HERO4 cameras will be equipped with live high-definition wireless broadcast technology. GoPro showed off the technology, and its subsequent tie-up with the NHL, during the NHL All-Star weekend in which GoPro generated content captured from the players perspective was broadcast to roughly 2 million television viewers.
ESPN also featured live feeds from GoPro cameras during their broadcast of the 2015 Winter X Games last month -- reaching over 30 million viewers. By aligning its products with ESPN and the NHL, GoPro is asserting itself as the standard for compelling video footage in professional sports. This is yet another way that GoPro is evolving from a camera maker into a full-blown media company complete with live TV broadcasting.
Together these catalysts give GoPro considerable momentum in the year ahead, which can allay investors' near-term concerns. Instead, investors should focus on the longer-term growth opportunities that lie ahead.