GoPro Surges on Opening as Cool Camera Hype Carries Stock Higher

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- GoPro Inc. (GPRO) was jumping on Thursday, rising as much as 31% to $31.43, as investors scrambled to get a piece of the video-camera maker popular with zealots of surfing, skiiing and other sports.

Shares of the San Mateo, California-based company rose 28% to $30.73 after shares were prices at $24 and opened at $28. GoPro raised roughly $427 million in an offering that values the company at $3 billion.

GoPro is expected to use the proceeds from its initial public offering to cash out some existing investors and pay off its $120 million debt.

Founder Nick Woodman created the first GoPro from a point-and-shoot camera, a broken surfboard leash and a couple of rubber bands. Now GoPro is a $2.25 billion company and has sold 8.5 million cameras since introducing its first high-definition camera 2009. It sold 3.8 million cameras in 2013 alone, according to a government filing. 

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"To compete with GoPro [competitors] have to have millions of people capturing and sharing their experiences and giving you credit for it," Woodman said in an interview with Bloomberg News. "And that is why our competitors have not made any in roads."

In 2013, there were 50 million hours of video watched with the word "GoPro" in the title, according to the filing.

Despite selling different mounts and accessories from its Web site, a vast majority of GoPro's $985.7 million in revenue for 2013 comes from camera sales. As camera sales growth numbers begin to decline, GoPro has begun looking to other sources of revenue. In the first quarter of 2014, GoPro partnered with Microsoft (MSFT) to create a GoPro channel on Xbox which will provide ad revenue and fees from third-party sponsorship. However, the advertising and sponsorship revenues GoPro is expecting to receive from its YouTube and Virgin America channels beginning in the second quarter of 2014 will not be material.

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