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TMCNet:  GoPro IPO filing shows history of profitability, nearly $1 billion in annual revenues [San Jose Mercury News :: ]

[May 19, 2014]

GoPro IPO filing shows history of profitability, nearly $1 billion in annual revenues [San Jose Mercury News :: ]

(San Jose Mercury News (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 19--SAN MATEO -- Action-camera company GoPro heads into its initial public offering with a profitable company that made only slightly less than $1 billion in 2013, the company revealed Monday in its public IPO filing.

Founded by surfer and CEO Nick Woodman in 2004, the company announced in February that it had filed confidentially for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a process created by the 2012 JOBS act for companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion. Monday's public filing shows that GoPro barely qualified for the secret process, with 2013 revenues of $985.7 million.

The company's sales performance has increased wildly in the past three years, gaining more than 124 percent in 2012 and another 87 percent last year, providing the type of revenue growth IPO investors crave. GoPro has an advantage over other Silicon Valley companies with big revenue growth, however: The company is also profitable, showing a net income for each of the past three years totaling more than $115 million.

Revenue growth is slowing, however, including a year-over-year decline from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, from $255.1 million to $235.7 million. The company will have to answer for the slide in its upcoming "road show," which puts executives from companies going public in front of potential investors.

GoPro will likely point to its growing media offerings for potential growth beyond hardware sales -- GoPro's YouTube channel is chock full of videos shot by users and has clocked more than 450 million video views.

"As of December 31, 2013, we had not derived revenue from the distribution of, or social engagement with, our content on the GoPro Network," the company said in Monday's filing. "However, we plan to pursue new revenue opportunities from the distribution of engaging GoPro content in the near term," including deals to carry the company's video offering and advertising on them, with revenues expected to begin appearing in the second half of 2014.

GoPro is seeking to make the creation and editing of videos easier with proprietary software called GoPro Studio, which helps users produce and upload videos of their adventures, which the company then airs on the GoPro Network with permission from the user. In the first three months of this year, an average of 20,000 videos were uploaded per day through GoPro Studio, the company said.

The San Mateo firm, which moved up the Peninsula in 2012 from its original headquarters in Half Moon Bay, suggests that it will seek to raise $100 million in the offering, though that figure is probably a placeholder until the company provides a range of possible prices for its first batch of stock at a later date. The company revealed in the filing that it will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol GPRO.

GoPro began selling cameras in 2004, with the idea that lightweight, durable cameras would allow fellow surfers and other athletes to film their exploits cheaply and from a new perspective. The idea has caught on, with GoPro cameras costing as little as $200 getting strapped to bicycle handles, ski helmets and much, much more worldwide, thrusting Woodman onto the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans for the first time in 2013.

The technology has especially caught on at ski slopes: Sales at snow sports retailers increased 50 percent to 123,000 for the 2012-13 ski season, SnowSports Industries America reported last year, and the trade group expected a higher number this season.

In perhaps the most famous stunt filmed using GoPro cameras, daredevil Felix Baumgartner leapt from a platform more than 24 miles high in 2012 with five GoPro cameras strapped to his body, breaking his own record for highest sky dive and becoming the first person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft.

GoPro has received less than $300 million in venture funding, with the latest and largest round pulling in $200 million in late 2012 from Hon Hai Industry, also known as Foxconn, an Asian manufacturing company known for its contract work with Apple, Hewlett-Packard and other consumer electronics companies.

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Barclays will lead the offering for GoPro, with six other banks pitching in on the effort.

Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at

___ (c)2014 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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