October 30, 2014 / 8:23 PM / in 3 years

GoPro sees strong holiday quarter sales; shares jump

GoPro Inc's founder and CEO Nick Woodman (C) celebrates GoPro Inc's IPO with family and staff at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City, June 26, 2014.Mike Segar

(Reuters) - GoPro Inc (GPRO.O) forecast better-than-expected holiday quarter sales, underscoring the increasing popularity of its wearable cameras among surfers, skydivers and other action junkies.

GoPro's shares, which went public in June, shot up 14 percent in extended trading on Thursday after the company also reported strong third-quarter results.

Videos taken using GoPro cameras, which can be mounted on helmets, boards, bikes and dog harnesses, have made a big splash on the Internet.

YouTube videos such as "Run Walter, RUN!!", "Waltz On The Walls of City Hall" and "Golf Trick Shot" have gone viral, helping GoPro's cameras gain popularity beyond sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

"The social media side of the business had great metrics, with YouTube content up 92 percent year-over-year (in the third quarter) and YouTube views up 99 percent," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Reuters.

"All this indicates growing brand awareness, and bodes well for a successful holiday," Pachter said.

The California-based company launched the latest version of its flagship Hero4 camera and a cheap entry-level camera in September, targeting holiday shoppers.

"We anticipate particular strength in our direct channel both with our big box and midmarket customers," Chief Financial Officer Jack Lazar said on a conference call.

The company said it expects a profit of 65-69 cents per share on sales of $550-$580 million for the fourth quarter ending December.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 55 cents per share on revenue of $505.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

GoPro dominates the action camera market, with analysts estimating a market share of more than 90 percent.

The resounding success of its cameras has prompted several companies such as Sony Corp (6758.T), Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T) to launch their own offerings.

According to NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service, GoPro was the top-selling camcorder in the United States in 2013.

FIRST-QUARTER BEAT

GoPro reported an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, topping the average analyst estimate of 8 cents.

Revenue rose about 46 percent to $280 million. Analysts on average had expected $265.6 million.

The net income attributable to GoPro shareholders was $14.6 million, or 10 cents per share, in the third quarter compared with a loss of $1.1 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

The company's shares were trading at $73.33 after the bell. The stock has more than doubled since its market debut in June.

Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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