GoPro Inc: Strong Growth Sustainable But Valuation High

GoPro Inc: Strong Growth Sustainable But Valuation High

More data points on GoPro are rolling in, and analysts remain pretty much all over the spectrum on the company. The action camera maker’s stock received a boost last week thanks to an upgrade by Piper Jaffray analysts.

It looks like GoPro is still receiving benefits from that upgrade, despite warnings about valuation from another firm.

GoPro still dominates in action cameras

Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt reiterated his Market Perform rating for the company on Friday, noting that his recent survey brought positive results for it as well. However, he also pointed out that GoPro trades at a premium compared to its peers, which is why he hasn’t given it a Buy rating.

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According to McCourt, demand for the company’s cameras is still “relatively robust.” He gave the results of his quarterly survey about action cameras in the U.S. He said the results show that interest in action cameras remains strong, especially for GoPro’s cameras specifically as about 14% of those who are planning to buy an action camera intend to buy a GoPro camera. (All graphs in this article are courtesy Raymond James.)


The analyst also pointed out that current ownership of GoPro cameras remains at about 4%, which is where it was in December.


In order to collect some data on interest in the company’s cameras abroad, the Raymond James analyst examined Google Search trends for GoPro. He found strong growth in year over year search volume but volatile trends from week to week. However, he said there was a range of 20% to 60% throughout the first quarter, which is about what 2014 brought not counting the spike around the company’s initial public offering.


GoPro’s average selling price boosted

He also said there’s evidence that suggests GoPro raised prices for its cameras outside the U.S. during the first quarter. He said this shows signs that the company’s third party distributors were “very aggressive” during the first quarter, raising prices in Europe and other areas where the U.S. dollar has strengthened verses their currencies dramatically.

The analyst found about a 5% to 10% increase in average selling prices for GoPro cameras in a number of European countries, which he said is a sign of strength because it should limit impacts from the strengthening dollar. He said it’s unclear at this point whether the increase in price will have an impact in demand, although he thinks any impact will be limited because GoPro so clearly dominates the action camera category.

GoPro’s growth rate sustainable

Further, he thinks GoPro will continue to be able to grow by between 15% and 30% year over year over the next couple of years. That means the company certainly deserves a premium price to earnings multiple “in an equity market starving for growth,” he said.

However, he noted that GoPro’s P/E multiple is 32 times 2015 estimates, which is a premium to its growth-oriented peers, which have a median P/E multiple of 28 times.

As of this writing, shares of GoPro were up 0.92% to $45.03 per share, although the stock did trade as high as $45.46 per share earlier today.

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