Is GoPro in trouble? Not so fast, say analysts

GoPro creator Nick Woodman
GoPro creator Nick Woodman
Photograph by Victor J. Blue — Bloomberg via Getty Images

GoPro Inc. has had a rough couple of weeks on Wall Street. But, while some investors are fleeing, analysts say the company’s future still looks bright.

GoPro (GPRO) shares are down 40% in the last month over concerns the company had peaked. Despite posting a strong second quarter, earning $419.9 million in revenue and a $35 million profit—a stark contrast to the nearly $20 million loss it posted during the same period last year—some investors have concluded that GoPro is little more than a fad.

“(GoPro) is a niche product that I believe every investor knows will become less and less popular with every life cycle of product,” Andrew Left, an analyst at Citron Research, told CNBC in an interview last week. “How many parents have bought their child a GoPro only to see it sit in the top drawer?”

The company, which was founded in 2002 and went public in 2014, builds a wide range of action cameras that can either be mounted on accessories or hand-held. GoPro owners have worn them as they weave through dangerous ski paths or explore the ocean, crafting first-hand experiences of never-before-seen adventures.

In July, GoPro released its latest camera, the Hero4 Session, which is its smallest yet. The release surprised some who have grown accustomed to GoPro launching new devices in the fall and concerned investors who fear GoPro will be forgotten this holiday season.

In an interview with Fortune, Charlie Anderson, a senior research analyst at Dougherty & Company, said that further evaluation of the market reveals not only that the company is not in trouble, but actually alive and well.

The issue with GoPro’s shares started with China, Anderson argues. After China’s currency fell in August, there were some, he says, who believed that China-based manufacturers building competing devices could more effectively challenge GoPro.

Xiaomi, a company that offers a GoPro-like alternative, called the Yi, was of special concern. He said that the possibility of Xiaomi and other China-based companies building GoPro competitors for less, and exporting them at a cheaper price, prompted some investors to worry.

To make matters worse, GoPro investors grew concerned with comments made by Ambarella (AMBA), a company that makes crucial components bundled in every GoPro device. Ambarella said that it’s expecting revenue from its “wearable camera” segment, which generates nearly all of its business from GoPro, to experience a decline in year-over-year revenue for the quarter that ends in October. That bit of news was enough to send shockwaves through GoPro’s investment community who seemingly believed that Ambarella’s forecast meant GoPro was in for a rough end to 2015.

“Investors are wondering, ‘If Ambarella is selling less chips in the October quarter than they did a year ago, what does that tell us about GoPro?'” Anderson said.

Wedbush Securities research analyst Michael Pachter told Fortune that Wall Street is simply guessing about what Ambarella’s projections could mean for GoPro.

“Who knows when GoPro builds up supply? We don’t know how they build inventory and order supplies.” Pachter says. “The Street has assumed GoPro is done growing because of these data points and the stock has pulled back because of it. It’s upside down wrong.”

So, what’s really happening at GoPro? Both Pachter and Anderson argue that the company’s future looks bright. Pachter, for instance, says the company is in the perfect position to grow.

“We live in this selfie generation and these kids that post every snack they eat on Instagram need motion capture devices,” Pachter says. “GoPro is going to grow revenues and announce a new product [this year] and the stock will be off to the races.”

While Anderson would not say whether GoPro will launch a new product later this year—he says there’s a “small percentage chance”—he too believes GoPro will grow its revenue, due in large part to international expansion.

“I think we’re in the third or fourth inning of the action camera market,” he says. “What people often forget is that GoPro has not reached full distribution globally. In many parts of the world, it’s still hard to find these things. GoPro just started getting into China and they can grow substantially there. There’s still room to grow in Europe, as well as Brazil and India.”

Anderson also pointed to another important development: GoPro’s plans to expand into the drone business. Earlier this year, GoPro said that it plans to launch a quadricopter drone in 2016. Anderson believes that GoPro will make a splash in the consumer drone market, which could reach $1 billion in worldwide revenue this year and double to $2 billion in 2016.

“There’s hundreds of millions of dollars available to [GoPro] next year,” Anderson said of the drone market. “And if you go into 2017, the numbers can get very, very large.”

Despite the stock’s troubles, both Pachter and Anderson are bullish on GoPro, maintaining their “outperform” rating and assigning a 12-month price target of $70, or about double its current stock price.

“Rumors of GoPro’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Pachter said.

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