GoPro considering selling itself, hires J.P. Morgan: source

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(Reuters) – GoPro Inc (GPRO.O) is considering selling itself and has hired J.P. Morgan to help it with the process, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the company lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast on weak demand for cameras in the holiday season and announced its plan to exit the drone business.

The action camera maker’s shares, which fell as much as 33 percent to a record low of $5.04, recouped some of their losses after the sale talks were first reported by CNBC.

“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,” Chief Executive Nick Woodman told CNBC.

GoPro could not immediately be reached for comment. J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

The company, once a Wall Street favorite, has seen a decline in demand for its cameras and Karma drones for several quarters, and plans to cut more than 250 jobs as it restructures. GoPro had 1,254 employees as of Sept. 30.

The company said the move to exit the drone business will take place after selling the existing Karma inventory, as tough regulatory hurdles in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the market for drones in the years ahead.

GoPro, whose cameras and drones are mostly used by sports junkies and travel enthusiasts, cut the price of its latest Hero6 cameras to $399 from $499. It said the decision would hurt revenue by around $80 million in the fourth quarter.

Morgan Stanley said in a research note on Monday that the price cut for the Hero6 camera would make earnings growth difficult in fiscal 2018.

The company’s CEO said it saw softer demand for existing camera models.

“Despite significant marketing support, we found consumers were reluctant to purchase HERO5 Black at the same price it launched at one year earlier,” Woodman said in a statement.

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

“Cutting costs is a good move, although now it’s about if the company can turn this ship around themselves or ultimately they get consummated by a larger tech player,” Daniel Ives, analyst at GBH Insights, said.

Woodman will also reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1, the company said.

Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru and Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Bernard Orr and Maju Samuel



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