camera-maker GoPro Inc. gets its big chance to rebound
from a disastrous year when it unveils its first drone
and other new products Monday.
company’s share price has plunged more than 70 percent
since last July’s release of a delayed and overpriced
camera. GoPro has lost money three straight quarters and
is set to report its first annual loss this year.
say GoPro may unveil a small, camera-toting drone that
automatically trails surfers, snowboarders and other
extreme sports enthusiasts, whose embrace of the company’s
early models fueled its rise. If it’s a hit, the new
gadget could reset the company’s image with customers
and investors, and prove crucial in sparing the firm
from having to sell to a larger company.
they show last year’s misstep was a mistake and going
forward they have products right?" said Michael
Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "This is
a make or break moment."
also potentially a major turn for the nascent consumer
drone industry, which has largely been dominated by
drone-focused startups such as DJI, Yuneec and Parrot. A
large, 14-year-old camera company entering the market
shows drones are ready to be more than toys.
key to really massive adoption of these technologies is
just solving some of the societal concerns about safety,
security and privacy," said Ben Marcus, chief
executive of drone maps provider AirMap. "The less
intimidating they look and the easier they are to
operate, the more adoption we’ll see. I’m hoping
GoPro’s drone brings a little bit more comfort."
details have leaked about the drone, dubbed Karma by the
company. The purported quadcopter appears to make a
fleeting appearance in a video released by the company.
videos suggest Karma is smaller than its top-end
competitors, has a gimbal for image stabilization and
can be "maneuvered in tight spaces,"
Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz said in a report.
mused that Karma would sync with a clip that users could
attach to their clothing or body, allowing the drone and
the camera mounted on it to track their movement without
the need to steer it via a controller.
got the distinct impression that you’re not going to
be carrying a big wireless controller with an antenna
while you’re on your surfboard," he said.
battery life (top drones can fly for about 25 minutes)
and price will be similar to existing high-end drones,
but stand out from those of rivals based on versatility,
Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski said in a report
this week. It would work with the Hero5, the camera
expected to be announced Monday, and older models.
speculated a price of about $750 for the drone, which
could bring the total with the camera to more than
could sell 100,000 drones this holiday season, enough to
return the company to profitability in this year’s
final quarter, Pachter estimated.
company has sold more than 20 million cameras in its
history, but questions linger about whether they can get
cheaper or cooler enough to get more people to buy one.
Jankowksi noted the latest model would include better
audio, more capture options and a "more
about what else is in store have included GPS
functionality, a cellular chip, sensors for speed and
altitude and 8K video resolution.
event is set to deliver long-anticipated updates to
GoPro’s editing software and more news about a slate
of sports and travel shows the company is producing,
are giving the company the benefit of the doubt heading
into the announcement, with shares Friday rising 5.7
percent, or $0.80, to close at $14.96.