GoPro Earnings: Camera Maker Shows Wall Street the Money

By Tamara

GoPro reported fourth-quarter results after the closing bell on Thursday that trounced Wall Street's expectations. Investors initially pushed the stock up more than 4% in after-hours trading on the news.

This was a monster quarter for the mountable-camera maker, with revenue climbing 75%, to $634 million. For comparison, analysts were expecting revenue of roughly $580 million in the period.

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GoPro's earnings per share in the quarter also topped estimates by a wide margin. For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2014, the camera maker generated a profit of $0.83 per diluted share, up from just $0.33 per share during the same period a year ago.Moreover, this was markedly above the Street's estimates for earnings of $0.70 per share in the fourth quarter.

Record holiday salesGoPro's mountable cameras were among some of the best-selling products during the all-important holiday shopping season in 2014. In fact, the company sold an average of 1,000 cameras per hour during the quarter.GoPro shipped a whopping 2.4 million cameras in the quarter, bringing its full-year total to 5.2 million in 2014-- up 35% from the prior year. In addition to strong holiday demand, the company announced key partnerships recently that should help fuel both content and camera sales in the year ahead.

The company linked up with the National Hockey League, for example, to enable NHL players to capture immersive footage by wearing GoPro cameras both in practice and during games. This marked GoPro's first foray into professional sports. Marriott Hotels also jumped on the GoPro bandwagon recently, launching a program in which guests at some of its Caribbean and Latin American resorts can use complimentary GoPro HERO4 cameras during their stays.

Source: GoPro.

Strategic partnerships such as these are important not only because they help build brand awareness, but also because of the content generated using GoPro's cameras. In 2014, videos posted to GoPro's YouTube channel were up 71%, with views climbing 84% from the prior year. By leveraging consumer-generated content on its GoPro Network, the best-selling camera brand is quickly growing into a global-media powerhouse.

Looking ahead, international expansion will be a major focus for the company in 2015. GoPro, which currently generates the bulk of its sales within the United States, officially entered the Chinese market in January. Two of China's largest online retailers are now hawking GoPro cameras in addition to other select retailers in the region.

Shares of GoPro are currently trading around $54 apiece, or toward the low-end of the stock's 52-week range.

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Tamara Rutter has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends GoPro. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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