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GoPro Announces Drones, Virtual Reality

By Gadgets FOXBusiness

Action camera maker, GoPro (GPRO) announced at the Code Conference on Wednesday, that the company would be expanding into both the drone and virtual reality businesses. GoPro shares were up 7% on the news Thursday morning, trading around $57.

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The virtual reality device, called the Six-Camera Spherical Array, can mount on GoPro cameras and record footage for viewing on virtual reality headsets like Oculus (FB), Google Cardboard (GOOGL) and Microsoft Hololens (MSFT). Pricing was not revealed, but CEO Nicholas Woodman said that it would be available to consumers later this year.

“It’s a no brainer” for GoPro to enter the virtual reality market, said Andrew Uerkwitz, analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “This is a market that GoPro should be able to enter very easily.”

Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP Securities agreed that “virtual reality is a major opportunity” for GoPro. “There is going to be tremendous market acceptance of virtual reality.”

Woodman also said that by the first half of 2016, the company will release a consumer drone product. The remote-controlled cameras would be able to capture aerial views for a more immersive video experience.

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The drone business could be another big market for GoPro, if the company creates a competitive product. Chinese drone-maker, DJI, is reportedly on track to do $1 billion in drone sales this year.

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GoPro’s success in the drone market will depend on if they are able to “compete against companies who have been making drones for a decade,” said Uerkwitz. But it “would be tough to bet against GoPro.”

GoPro shares are up 137% since pricing its IPO at $24 in June of last year. The company has a market cap of $7.7 billion.

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