Garmin and GoPro are Wall Street darlings, with action cameras capturing human flight and, hopefully, soaring stocks
More than 6.1 million Americans consider themselves snowboarders (that’s up from 4.3 million in 2000). Watching daredevil snowboarding athletes like Shaun White win gold at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics certainly left an impression with young American boys: 58% of snowboarders are 12-24 years old, and 67% of them are male.
A sport known to boast about its thrilling, “epic” tricks in the air, it’s no wonder that sales of action cameras are also on the rise. During just one winter season (2012-2013), 123,000 action cameras were sold in the US ($43 million). Now the race is on to improve technology and American companies like GoPro and Garmin Ltd. are delivering. Snowboarders (and their X Game compatriots like surfers, skateboarders, skydivers, BMX bikers, et al) can now snap 30 photos per second and share them instantly via the wireless cameras mounted to their helmets, chests or wrists. It’s not all fun and Olympic games, the $1billion industry isn’t lost on Wall Street. Just five months ago, Goldman Sachs upgraded Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) following the launch of Garmin’s VIRB and VIRB Elite action cameras. Since then, the stock has soared 13% from $37 to $47. And analysts expect GoPro to go public this year.