Time to take profits from high-flying tech stocks?

By Chris Lau for Kapitall.

Characterizing the initial public offering (“IPO”) of unique premium camera maker GoPro (GPRO) as a phenomenon is an understatement. The stock returned more than 100% from the first day of trading up until July 2 2014. Investors should be cautious: if the euphoria ends, so will its recent highs. There are other reasons to be concerned.

Short selling in GoPro shares are so high that the cost of borrowing shares is expensive for investors. The bearish bet is reminiscent to that made on Twitter (TWTR) on its IPO day. Investors figured Twitter’s business model would collapse, and that it was a “no brainer” to bet against the stock.

The heavy short selling ended up pushing Twitter shares to a high of $74.73 in December 2013, up from the low $40’s in the previous month. It would take a few months before Twitter finally fell below its IPO price. It is too early to say if GoPro shares will squeeze short sellers in the short term.

GoPro’s product offers a unique solution for capturing video and still photos. This would partly justify its high valuation. Conservative investors might want to look instead at conglomerates. Companies that rely only partially on the photography and video capture market would be less risky. Canon (CAJ) and Sony (SNE) come to mind.

Sony generates revenue from movies. Its latest title, 22 Jump Street, generated $50 million at the box office on its opening weekend. In the TV segment, the firm might earn its first profit in over a decade. Sales from TVs are set to rise to $2.15 billion, thanks to a focus on high end models. In the gaming segment, Sony will release a TV version of PlayStation for $99 in North America in the Fall.

Canon entered the 3D printing market last year in October when it formed a reseller deal with 3D Systems (DDD). Canon and 3D Systems expanded a partnership. Canon will distribute advanced manufacturing 3D Printers in Japan.


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