Sometimes a hire can take you higher. Shareholders of GoPro (GPRO 3.11%) caught a break last week. The stock soared 12%, fueled by reports that it had poached a member of Apple's (AAPL 1.69%) legendary design team. It also won some praise on CNBC after rolling out a new set of tools for developers to create apps for GoPro devices.
Danny Coster is joining GoPro as its vice president of design. He was a member of Apple's iconic hardware design team for more than two decades. He may not have the name recognition of Jony Ive, but Coster was part of the industrial design team behind products including the iPhone 4 and the iPad's wireless keyboard. He also has hundreds of design and utility patents.
GoPro has bigger problems than how its wearable cameras look. Sales during the holiday quarter plunged 31% since the prior year, and it's not aesthetics or fickle fashion tastes that are holding it back. There's a reason why GoPro's stock has gotten trounced since peaking shortly after its 2014 IPO, as newer products have failed to catch on the way that its earlier strap-on HERO cameras did.
CNBC's Halftime Report regular Jon Najarian then had some kind words to offer on GoPro as a turnaround play on a segment discussing GoPro's new platform for app developers, even admitting that he bought into the company earlier in the week.
"I think this stock doubles in the next three to six months," he said on CNBC.
Najarian won't be in there long enough to see that play out. His exposure last week was through the purchase of short-term options that expire next month. However, with a fellow commentator also playing up GoPro as an acquisition target during the same CNBC segment -- and Apple once again brought up as a potential buyer -- it's easy to see why speculators rallied behind shares of the former market darling.
It's been a rough run for GoPro. The stock has surrendered a whopping 86% of its value since peaking in October 2014. There was a lot of hype in GoPro stock at the time with growth investors pondering expansion into drones and even GoPro as a media distribution hub. It's a harsher reality these days, and analysts see sharp double-digit year-over-year declines in sales through at least the first half of this year.
GoPro is trying to change its own luck, and not just because it tapped an Apple designer or is the subject of Apple takeover chatter. GoPro will be at NAB 2016 in Vegas through the next four days, showing off its new high-end products for the generation of virtual reality content. There's been plenty of wear and tear on the top dog in wearable cameras, but bullish sentiment and reasons to be optimistic are starting to pop up into the frame.