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Will Fusion, a 360-Degree Spherical Camera, save GoPro (GPRO)?

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GoPro Inc. (GPRO - Free Report) today revealed Fusion, its new 5.2k spherical camera that is designed to be capable of capturing both virtual reality and standard video and picture. Along with the new camera, a new pilot program was also launched, allowing professional content creators to gain access to the camera before the public.

The action camera maker’s stock is up 1.24% to $8.99 per share in midday trading Thursday after the news was released.

The California-based company has been struggling to maintain investors’ confidence. Though the company announced a solid first-quarter outlook in March, its stock value is still down 35% from a year ago and far from the camera company's all-time high at $96.45 per share in Sept. 2014.

The competition is growing fierce in the drone and action camera industry. More companies can offer products with similar quality but at a much lower price. Furthermore, GoPro encountered a huge set back on its much-anticipated drone camera, Karma, in November. The company issued a recall when some users reported their flying camera would lose power during operation. The company's 2016 fourth quarter earnings also showed that the demand for their action camera line HERO has been shrinking.

In pursuit of profitability, GoPro has been cutting its workforce to make up for the lack of sales. In its Q1 outlook announcement, the company eliminated 270 positions, which it hopes to reduce its operating expenses by $200 million. The camera company had already cut 15% in November. (To learn more about GoPro’s Outlook announcement, check out this Zacks Article: Here’s Why GoPro (GPRO - Free Report) Stock Is Soaring Today)

Besides reducing operating expenses, the action camera maker released a camera trade-up program in hopes of a sales boost. Shares of GoPro have grown almost 5% since the company released the program.

Fusion, GoPro’s latest camera, is scheduled to be on the market by the end of 2017, and likely to be available during the holiday season to push sales.

"The ability to capture every angle simultaneously… as though you had six GoPro cameras fused into one," said GoPro CEO and founder Nicholas Woodman. "Whether filming for VR or traditional fix-perspective content, Fusion represents the state-of-the-art in a versatile spherical capture."

As virtual reality and augmented reality seem to be the next big market, there is certainly an opportunity for GoPro to profit from Fusion. It is not easy to capture high-quality VR content, and if the Fusion can provide a better service than its competitors, like Facebook’s (FB - Free Report) two new 360-degree cameras, it can be a good catalyst point for GoPro.

The camera company will release its 2017 first quarter financial result, ended March 31, 2017, after the market closes on April 27, 2017. We will see if GoPro can regain shareholders’ faith.

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