GoPro has never been about technology, and in fact the now-ubiquitous (and longtime SA advertising) San Francisco-based product line never had the smallest, the lightest, the cheapest, the most convenient, or the best-looking camera on the market. That’s what makes their marketing accomplishments more impressive, and make no mistake: GoPro is a marketing and branding company first, and a product second. They market their asses off, and sell enough accessories that anyone in the world can use their cameras to record their passion. We’ve enjoyed our relationship with the company, and we’re stoked to see that they filed their S-1 Statement on Monday in preparation for an Initial Public Offering some time in September or sooner, though this IPO has been rumored since at least 2012.
After working with with the company for years, would we buy any stock? It’s a tough call in a business with tiny margins and almost guaranteed obsolescence; that being said, GoPro has solid numbers, an actual, physical product and distribution network, and has done a phenomenal job of diversifying its brand (becoming a content provider, streaming system, and social media juggernaut). The company has also spread its product amongst the most important people in extreme sports, and niche athletes are pretty reliable when it comes to brand loyalty. In other words, even if a perfect GoPro killer emerged tomorrow, it would take gross incompetence and many moons to knock the industry leader off its pedestal. Let’s say we’re ‘cautiously optimistic’.
Talk IPO and tech stocks in the thread here.
May 22nd, 2014