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

A Go Pro camera is seen on a skier's helmet as he rides down the slopes in the ski resort of Meribel French Alps

Instead, the action camera maker confirmed it's ending Karma production and will cut almost 300 jobs, or more than 20% of its global workforce. These changes will see the company with fewer 1,000 employees worldwide in the coming months. The action camera company said today that demand over the 2017 holiday period proved less impressive than GoPro had expected, and that it would be forced to shed staff as a result.

GoPro has revealed that despite getting Karma to a good market position in 2017 for its price bracket, the competitive challenges and recent "hostile" regulatory changes in Europe and the United States have reduced sales.

"These factors make the aerial market untenable and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory". GoPro shares plunged 23 percent in early-hours trading, before hitting a built-in stop and trading paused temporarily.

There have also been issues with some products, including the recall of its Karma aerial camera in 2016, after unexpected crashes.

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The Karma struggled from the start, thanks to a battery that was disconnecting in mid-flight and causing the drone to crash. "Despite significant marketing support, we found consumers were reluctant to purchase HERO5 Black at the same price it launched at one year earlier".

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

Chief executive officer Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1. That shaved $80 million from expected fourth quarter revenue, which the company now estimates will total $340 million, falling short of the $472 million expected by analysts. "We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018".

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