GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) stock was up strongly in early trading on Wednesday as the firm’s “wide and deep strategy” impressed analysts at JPMorgan. Paul Coster, who wrote put out a report on the firm this morning, said that the “competitive moat seems to be getting wider and deeper.”
At time of writing shares in the camera maker were up by close to 4% in pre-market trading. Mr. Coster put a $75 price target on GoPro and gave the firm an Overweight rating on the firm. The key word in the report is “moat.” GoPro is separating itself from firms that would take its business, and defending its place in the market.
GoPro builds a moat
Coster says that the firm’s moat is built off of the many new products and services that GoPro is going to launch going forward. He mentions “cloud-hosted GoPro app, solutions that democratize the creation of virtual-reality content, an off-cycle Hero device that integrates touch LCD, and the signaled intent to introduce a GoPro drone in 2016.”
Since going public GoPro has faced criticism about its product range. The firm’s HD cameras are famous, but they could be replaced at any time if a big tech firm tried to compete. GoPro is worth $75 per share in Coster’s eyes because that is becoming less and less likely.
GoPro is building a cloud platform that will get users more invested in the firm’s tech. It is also set to release a slew of new products that will help to make the firm’s Hero 4 more useful. The drone and the VR array are the two primary examples of that.
GoPro detractors flail
Despite the moat that the JPMorgan analyst sees being built at GoPro, not every investor thinks that the firm is set for success. There is huge short interest. 13,048,836 shares were sold short on May 15. The firm has a float of 89 Mn and a daily volume of 6.2 Mn on average.
Shares in GoPro are trading at 76 times last years earnings, a level that implies a large amount of growth in the years ahead.
Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy says that the firm’s latest products kill the bear thesis. She says that the VR array and drone launch show that the differentiation gives the firm something to shoot for apart from the “declining video camera market.”
Murphy put a price target of $68 on the firm’s shares and rates them at Overweight.
Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitzis is a recent convert to the GoPro cause. After putting a Sell rating on the firm on April 29, citing a small and shrinking market.
In the wake of the firm’s product reveals, however, Oppenheimer put a Perform rating on shares at GoPro. He said that “New verticals and renewed investor enthusiasm make our worries irrelevant in the near term.”
GoPro is killing the bear thesis, and Wall Street sees more and more success in the firm’s future. The number of shares held short may be headed for a big reduction in the weeks ahead. In the last month shares in the firm have gained more than 16%.