GoPro's Adding Kolor May Show Path to Future

GoPro Inc has been through a roller coaster in its short time as a public company. High expectations after the IPO soon led to less-than-inspiring results and fear that the stock had gotten ahead of itself.

Since then, the company has settled into a groove and the first quarter of 2015's results -- reported Tuesday after market close -- had the feel of a company that's far more entrenched in the consumer market than it's ever been. And we may be starting to see what GoPro has in mind for a much-needed second act.

GoPro's cameras are still selling like crazy around the world. Image source: GoPro.

Explosive growth continues Coming off a strong holiday quarter where GoPro posted $634 million in revenue and $122.1 million in net income, the company had an impressive $235.7 million in revenue in the first quarter and $16.8 million in net income. There's a massive drop-off from the holidays, but revenue was up 54% from a year ago and was actually the second-highest revenue quarter in the company's history.

What was really impressive was a 66% jump in revenue from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions. GoPro is having a lot of success going global and that should help create a stickier business as the installed base increases.

Doubling down on software The other big news from the release was news that GoPro is acquiring Kolor, a "leader in virtual reality and spherical media solutions. ... Kolor's solutions enable users to combine multiple photographs or videos to produce high-resolution panoramic or spherical content that can be enjoyed on mobile devices, the web or in a virtual reality environment."

The acquisition will allow GoPro's editing software to add functions like panoramic photos, 360-degree videos, and 360-degree stills very easily.

This really solidifies the GoPro's strategic vision. It can make the best action cameras on the market, but editing software will provide the tools that make the still or video images come to life.

This mount could show the future for GoPro. Image source: GoPro.

This could also shape the future for GoPro, meaning that not only are spherical camera mounts on the way, spherical video cameras could be in the company's product line soon. That would be an incredible evolution in video technology.

Pressure is on for the next act This was another solid quarter for GoPro and a nice complementary acquisition for the company. But I still think the company will have to move beyond a single product line sooner rather than later to keep the market happy. The Kolor acquisition could make something like a drone more likely, which would be a natural product line extension.

No matter what they do, I think GoPro will have to come up with a second act because smartphone cameras are getting better and the replacement cycles for a GoPro are fairly long. With shares trading at 28 times next year's estimates I would be wary of jumping into shares, even after this solid quarter, until we see a second act from GoPro.

The foundation to be a company that can innovate over and over again is there. I'm just not convinced yet that the company can perform this well consistently year after year.

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Travis Hoium 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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