GoPro's plunging stock made short sellers $45 million in a single day

09 January 2018, 12:24 | Andres Norman

A Go Pro device featuring 16 cameras

A Go Pro device featuring 16 cameras to be used with Google's

Sport-camera maker GoPro confirmed Monday it will slash at least 20 percent of its workforce and drop its Karma drone business as it restructures operations. The cuts, said to largely impact the company's Karma drone division, were to be kept under wraps until mid-February - you know, well after CES.

According to CNBC, CEO Nick Woodman is considering a partnership or sale of his company, and has paid for the services of J.P. Morgan Chase to help facilitate it.

GoPro's potential sale inspired a mid-day rally in the stock, which plunged earlier on preliminary fourth-quarter figures.

GoPro said revenue fell nearly 40% in the fourth quarter to $340m compared with the same period in 2016.

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Short-sellers had raked in $45.4 million in mark-to-market profits before the report that the company may be trying to find a buyer.

The company is going to exit the drone market completely after selling its remaining Karma inventory. "Despite significant marketing support, we found consumers were reluctant to purchase HERO5 Black at the same price it launched at one year earlier", reads GoPro's press release. "We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap". In the months that GoPro was dealing with the, uh, fallout from the Karma's problems, DJI released two new smaller and cheaper drones that essentially made the Karma obsolete.

Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, said GoPro became a victim of both hubris and desperation as it tried to make a go of it in the drone sector. Given the concerns about less expensive alternatives eating away at GoPro's action-camera market share, this price cut is not a good development. And as previously stated in this text, the company will exit the arial market as GoPro has deemed it untenable. Its holiday results were downright terrible, and its disastrous attempt to enter the drone market is the kind of mistake that well-run companies seldom make.



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