GoPro exits drone market, hints at search for a buyer, partner

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Near 2010 GMT, shares of GoPro were down 13.5 percent at $6.52 after falling as low as $5.04 earlier in the session.

In light of the weak sales, it's hard to imagine which companies might buy GoPro, especially since the company also said this morning that it will exit the drone business after unloading the rest of its Karma inventory.

The Karma drone was meant to be GoPro's next big product when it launched amid much fanfare in 2016.

"If there are opportunities for us to unite with a bigger parent company to scale GoPro even bigger, that is something that we would look at", Woodman told CNBC.

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

The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue of US$340 million, compared with its projection of US$470 million, plus or minus US$10 million, in November.


The company slashed prices of the drones as well as its Hero line of cameras over the holiday period.

The action camera company has hired J.P. Morgan Chase to help it find a suitor, according to a CNBC report on Monday that cites unnamed sources.

"GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018", Woodman said in a statement. "We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap". On January 7, GoPro lowered the price of its premium model, HERO6 Black from Dollars 499 to USD 399.

Due to the drone-market exit and weak demand, GoPro plans to lay off hundreds of employees.

GoPro's full-year results are expected next month.

Whether GoPro ends up selling itself or not, it's clear that the company desperately needs new management. CEO Nicholas Woodman will also reduce his 2018 cash compensation to a single dollar. But GoPro saw its sales slump in 2016 as companies began flooding the market with cheaper, sometimes, comparable alternatives to the GoPro.

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