GoPro Inc. shares jumped 29 per cent Thursday morning in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange, highlighting the interest generated by line of rugged, waterproof cameras.
The company listed 17.8 million shares at $24 US this morning, raising $427 million in the initial public offering.
But immediately they began trading, the stock price jumped 19 per cent to $28.65, and by afternoon was trading at $31.73, up 32 per cent. It closed at $31.29.
The wearable camera created by GoPro lets surfers, skiers and sky divers record their experience, but the company has positioned itself as a media player, indicating it intends to build on its YouTube popularity with a platform devoted to footage from users.
That creates the potential for ad revenue and other spinoffs through its partnerships with Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Live.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and may also acquire complementary businesses or assets, it said in its filing.
The IPO marks a decade since CEO Nicholas Woodman, 39, had the idea to record himself surfing.
The San Mateo, California-based GoPro sold 3.8 million cameras last year, making it the best-selling camera of the year. The cameras, which are light and waterproof, cost between $200 and $400.
It also sells accessories such as cases, battery packs and mounts that help users attach their cameras to surfboards, helmets or their wrists. Users can download a free app or computer software to edit, store and publish their videos to their social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
GoPro revenue jumped to $985.7 million in 2013, nearly double what it was a year earlier. However, in the first three months of 2014, revenue fell 7.6 per cent to $235.7 million from a year ago.
At the IPO price, GoPro has a market valuation of $2.95 billion.