GoPro Inc. shares closed at $31.34 on their first day of trading on the NASDAQ Thursday, marking one of the more successful initial public offerings of the year. The company had priced its IPO shares at $24 Wedenesday, which valued the company at about $2.96 billion, but investors quickly bid them up as high as $33 as 44 million shares traded hands.


The IPO raised $427.2 million with half going to the company and half going to selling shareholders. If  underwriters fully exercise options to acquire additional shares, the offering could raise up to $491.3 million. The San Mateo, California-based company sold 8.9 million shares in the IPO, raising about $213 million.


GoPro's founder and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Woodman and his family remain the company's biggest stockholders, with a total stake of 49 percent. Woodman was inspired to create the camera during a surfing expedition in Asia.

GoPro's Hero video cameras retail for between $199.99 and $399.99 and are extremely popular among action sports enthusiasts, including surfers, sky divers, skateboarders, mountain bikers and fishermen. The company reported net income of $60.6 million on nearly $1 billioni in sales in 2013, roughly double the profit earned in 2012. GoPro has sold more than 8.5 million cameras since its first product was introduced in July 2009.

GoPro's stock is traded under the ticker GPRO.