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Why GoPro, Inc. Stock Popped 10.3% Monday

By Steve Symington - Feb 9, 2016 at 9:20AM

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The action camera maker jumped on a patent license agreement with Microsoft. Here's why.

What: Shares of GoPro (GPRO -3.61%) closed up 10.3% on Monday, defying the broader market's decline following a late-Friday announcement from Microsoft (MSFT 1.47%) that the two companies have signed a "collaborative patent license agreement."

So what: Microsoft's press release was light on specifics, only noting the deal is one of more than 1,200 licensing agreements into which it has entered since launching its IP licensing program in 2003, and covers "certain file storage and other system technologies."

Microsoft Technology Licensing president Nick Psyhogeos added, "This agreement with GoPro shows the incredible breadth of technology sharing enabled through patent transactions. Microsoft's licensing of personal wearable technologies is seeing strong demand as we partner with companies from all industries to optimize solutions for their customers around the globe."

Now what: If you're wondering why this is significant for the action camera maker, in particular, it appears to be a concerted effort by GoPro to address a key shortfall of its content management ecosystem.

When GoPro announced its painful fourth-quarter 2015 results last week, CEO Nick Woodman started by highlighting the company's strong growth in the first half of the year. "However," he elaborated, "growth slowed in the second half of the year, and we recognize the need to develop software solutions that make it easier for our customers to offload, access, and edit their GoPro content."

As it stands, GoPro's latest guidance calls for revenue to fall more than 50% year over year in the first quarter, due to a combination of weak overall demand for its capture devices and the company's decision to simplify its camera product offering to just its higher-end HERO4 Black, HERO4 Silver, and HERO4 Session models.

That said, the midpoint of GoPro's full-year 2016 revenue guidance also calls for a more modest 12% decline, indicating the company anticipates sales will rebound as the year progresses. Part of this assumption hinges on the impending launches of GoPro's Karma quadcopter in the first half of the year, as well as a widely anticipated refresh of its camera line with new HERO5 models in the second half. But according to GoPro management, crucial to their return to growth will be ensuring consumers have access to a more seamless content solution. If this deal with Microsoft is any indication, GoPro is working hard to deliver just that.

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