Shares Of San Mateo’s GoPro Inc. Soar 30 Percent In Debut On NASDAQ

SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Wall Street has a taste for adventure.

Investors sent shares of San Mateo-based GoPro Inc. (GPRO) up more than 30 percent in their stock market debut Thursday, following an initial public offering that valued the sports camera maker at about $3 billion.

The company makes wearable sports cameras that are used by skydivers, surfers and other extreme sports fans to film themselves as they create first-person videos that capture the experience as they saw it.

The cameras, which are light and waterproof, cost between $200 and $400. It also sells accessories such as cases, battery packs and mounts that help users attach their cameras to surfboards, helmets or their wrists. Users can download a free app or computer software to edit, store and publish their videos to their social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

GoPro had the best-selling camcorder last year, according to government paperwork filed by the company. Its revenue jumped to $985.7 million in 2013, nearly double what it was a year earlier. However, in the first three months of 2014, revenue fell 7.6 percent to $235.7 million from a year ago.

With its IPO, GoPro and selling shareholders raised $427 million after selling 17.8 million shares at $24 each. The proceeds from the IPO could rise to $491 million if underwriters use their 30-day option to sell 2.67 million more shares.

The company plans to use its share of the money raised to pay down debt.

GoPro shares rose $7.73, or 32 percent, to $31.73 in afternoon trading Thursday after rising as high as $33 earlier. The stock is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol “GPRO.”

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