GoPro Jumps as Analyst Coverage Supports Vision of Next Big Thing

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - GoPro (GPRO) was continuing its fast-paced ascent Monday as the point-of-view camera maker received more support from sell-side analysts that the stock has further room to rise following its successful public offering on June 27.

Shares of san Mateo-Calif.-based GoPro were gaining 2.6% to $42.61, extending the stock's advance to 36%.

"GoPro may be able to do for POV video content creation what Apple's (AAPL) iPod + iTunes did for music consumption," wrote Barclays in an analyst report published Monday led by Joseph Wolf. Although the comparison to Apple may be a bit weighty, the Barclays analogy does underline the high-hurdle GoPro needs to jump to become a lasting global brand rather than simply a fad fueled by the "selfie-generation."

JPMorgan, in a report led by Paul Coster, placed a 12-month price target of $51 on GoPro based on the notion that the "active-lifestyles market" has sales volume in the tens-of-millions while GoPro has only shipped 8.5 million cameras to date. JPMorgan cites the uncertainty of GoPro's hold on a nascent market as a reason for the volatility in the stock.

Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton initiated coverage of GoPro with a 12-month price target of $48, proclaiming that GoPro's growth will come from expanding beyond the action-sports community and that "38% of GoPro owners in our survey own more than one capture device, suggesting sales need not flat-line as penetration rises."

In order to prevent competition from overtaking GoPro, the camera maker will need to expand successfully into a media sharing company by integrating the content capturing device with their social media platform for sharing.

GoPro raises a lot of questions for analysts and investors because of the uncertainty of the market's growth, applicable valuation metrics, and whether GoPro can successfully fulfill its plans to become a media company rather than just a gadget maker. Nonetheless, the company is profitable, says JPMorgan's Coster, and sales remain brisk.

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