More GoPro Inc Insiders Take Advantage Of Lockup Expiration

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GoPro insiders are already taking advantage of the recent expiration on insider-owned shares of the camera maker. The lockup ended last week, flooding the market with 76 million more shares that previously were not available for trade.

GoPro CEO exercises RSUs

In a transaction on Feb. 25, Chairman and CEO Nicholas disposed of 180,000 Class B shares. After that transaction, he had about 39.2 million shares worth about $172.5 billion under indirect ownership through the Woodman Family Trust.

Woodman also exercised about 83,000 restricted stock units, converting them into Class B shares. After that transaction, the GoPro CEO had about 2.33 million restricted stock units and 666,666 shares of Class B stock under his direct ownership.

Other GoPro insiders sell shares

After unloading some shares on Feb. 18, director Michael Marks sold 300,000 more Class A shares at a price of about $44.32 per share for a total of $13.3 million on Feb. 24. After that transaction, Marks had about 8.74 million GoPro shares under indirect ownership through RW Camera Holdings LLC and 889 shares under his direct ownership.

In transactions on Feb. 19 and 20, Marks’ RW Camera Holdings disposed of 500,000 and 200,000 GoPro shares, respectively. The average price in the Feb. 19 transaction was $45.18 per share, and he raked in $22.59 million in that transaction. He sold the 200,000 shares on Feb. 20 for $45.47 per share, bringing in $9.1 million.

Director Edward Gilhuly converted 500,000 Class B shares into Class A shares on Feb. 24 and then disposed of some of those shares over the next couple of days. On Feb. 24, he sold about 62,400 shares for $44.12 per share. He raked in about $2.8 million in that transaction. The following day, he unloaded about 188,000 more shares for $44.23 each, earning about $8.3 million.

Short interest in GoPro soars to a new high

Also this week, GoPro saw a major spike in short interest, hitting a new high of 19.28 million shares, but Martin Blanc of Bidness Etc. explains that this doesn’t necessarily indicate increased bearishness in the camera maker. He was actually expecting an increase in short interest because the lockup expiration meant that the share supply increased.

He adds that it’s easier to short GoPro because the supply of shares is greater. Because of the higher share count, 42.6% of the float was sold short as of mid-February, compared to 67% at the end of last month. Also interest rates offered by share lenders are lower, and the average daily trading volume has increased, thus reducing the days to cover ratio.

It will take some time to determine whether the rising short interest does indicate increased bearishness in GoPro or whether it is merely a byproduct of the rising float. However, one expert who is very bearish on the company is CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who called the stock “a football stock” on his lightning round on Thursday. He said it’s just “all over the map” and, “We don’t want anything to do with it.”

Shares of GoPro plunged as much as 5.71% to as low as $42.11 per share during early trading today.

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