The media event at GoPro (GPRO 1.84%) yesterday was a hit. The stock moved 2% higher, and that may not seem like much, but you often see stocks sell off the day they make highly anticipated product introductions. The market itself closed lower, so just the fact that GoPro moved higher is a relative victory.
A lot of things went right for GoPro. The media event that was supposed to be about the Karma drone turned out to be about more than that. Let's go over the five reasons now is a good time to get bullish when it comes to the leading maker of wearable cameras.
1. Karma is not bad
All of the hype ahead of Monday's event surrounded GoPro's entry into the drone market. Three different teaser trailers released in recent days helped generate buzz that would've been hard for GoPro to live up to. Would it raise the bar? Would it be priced high enough to generate decent margins yet low enough to make a dent in the mainstream market?
The market seems to like the answers. Karma is a foldable quadcopter, complete with touchscreen controls that don't require a separate smartphone or tablet. There's also a detachable three-axis camera stabilizer that can be ported over for handheld or gear-mounted footage.
The price -- $799 on its own or either $999 or $1,099 bundled with one of GoPro's two new cameras -- isn't cheap, but it's not outrageous. Even Baird analyst William Power, who is neutral on the stock with a $10 price target that is a lot lower than where the shares are now, feels that it's a compelling offering where its flexibility makes it stand out in a crowded niche.
2. Hero takes a bow
Yesterday wasn't all about Karma. GoPro also introduced the Hero5 and smaller Hero5 Session, priced at $399 and $299, respectively. The new Hero camera line will actually hit the market ahead of Karma. Retail availability for Hero5 is Oct. 2, three weeks ahead of Karma's Oct. 23 release date.
The Hero5 and Karma were delayed earlier this year. It's refreshing to get firm release dates. It's also nice to see GoPro with plenty of time ahead of the potent holiday shopping season to market all of its new offerings.
3. Cloud and clear
GoPro formally introduced GoPro Plus, a cloud-based storage solution that will set subscribers back $4.99 a month. The ability to store, edit, and share videos on the cloud will also make it that much easier to lean on GoPro's monetization opportunities with stored content.
There are also some perks to GoPro Plus including access to a music catalog for editing, premium support, and 20% off mounts and accessories at its namesake online store. That last point is cooler than you probably think. Someone wanting to shave a fifth off of an accessory will be tempted to try GoPro Plus for $4.99 a month to land the price break. They may get smitten to the offering along the way.
GoPro also announced new editing software and hardware accessories, but it's GoPro Plus that bears watching. It will provide recurring monthly revenue, helping offset the swings of hardware demand that has burned shareholders in the past.
4. The stock is down but not out
Speaking of scorched stakeholders, shares of GoPro plunged 71% last year. Even after rallying in recent months, it's still trading 15% lower so far in 2016.
That makes this a pretty ugly chart for those who have been holding the stock for a long time, but it's also an opportunity. The financials have been pretty rocky of late. We're coming off three straight quarters of sharp double-digit declines. However, if the new drone and cameras take off next month, it will be that much easier for the stock justify higher price points.
5. There's still room for a short squeeze
With 30.8 million shares of GoPro sold short as of the end of last month, it's easy to see how continued bullish momentum may shake them out. When they do, the stock could rally. GoPro's shorts make up 22% of the outstanding shares but also more than a third of its public float.
Between the October releases and the start of the holiday shopping season a month later, there are plenty of catalysts here to keep the rally going. That will give shorts more reasons to cover their positions, possibly pushing the stock higher in the process.