GoPro Files for IPO as Sales Near $1 Billion

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - GoPro, the maker of durable digital camera that can be used to capture adventure sports, filed for an initial public offering with a $100 million placeholder on Monday evening. The company, which reported nearly $1 billion in 2013 revenue will look to list its shares on Nasdaq under ticker "GPRO."

GoPro's IPO filing comes at a transition period for the camera-maker. Since launching its first HD device in 2009, the company has sold over 8.5 million HD cameras and 3.8 million in 2013 alone. Now, as sales growth slows, GoPro is seeking to expand into a growing market for video content sharing.


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Already, GoPro has signed a partnership with Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox unit that will create a video channel and advertising opportunities. In addition, the company has built out a popular online and mobile application to go with its cameras and a large presence on social media sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook (FB) that it expects to be a customer acquisition channel in coming years.

Still, virtually all of GoPro's revenues currently come from the sale of its HERO3 and HERO3+ cameras, in addition to accessories like Wi-Fi remotes, batteries, and camera mounts.

In 2013, GoPro reported $985 million in sales, a near doubling from 2012 levels, when it had $526 million in sales. Net income at GoPro also nearly doubled to $60.5 million from $32.3 million in 2012. However, revenue growth slowed in 2013, and the company's prospectus shows that revenue actually fell about 7% in the first quarter of 2014 to $235.7 million. Revenue did grow during the fourth quarter, buoyed by holiday sales.

With IPO proceeds, GoPro will look to pay down a $120 million term loan the company took out in 2012.

The company will list with a dual class stock structure that means founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will have control of the company's voting rights. Class B shareholders will be entitled to 10 votes per one Class A share.

GoPro said in its prospectus it has 42 issued patents and 68 patent applications pending in the U.S., and 15 corresponding issued patents and 12 patent applications pending in foreign countries. Those patents include designs for camera's and software, in addition to physical structures, image processing, operational firmware and other types of software

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Barclays will lead GoPro's IPO offering, while Allen & Co., Stifel, Baird, MCS Capital Markets, Piper Jaffray and Raymond James will also act as underwriters.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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