Roku stock surges after earnings, outlook top expectations

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Shares of Roku Inc. jumped 9% in after-hours trading Thursday after the streaming company delivered better-than-expected results for its first quarter and issued an upbeat outlook for the current period.

Roku
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posted net income of $76.3 million, or 54 cents a share, whereas a year earlier it recorded a loss of $54.7 million, or 45 cents a share.

The company’s revenue rose to $574.2 million from $320.8 million. Roku saw platform revenue of $466.5 million and player revenue of $107.7 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected Roku to report a GAAP loss of 13 cents a share on sales of $492 million.

“Advertisers continued to follow audiences and move budgets into TV streaming, with Roku’s monetized video ad impressions more than doubling year-over-year,” the company said in its shareholder letter.

Roku added 2.4 million incremental active accounts in the first quarter, bringing its total to 53.6 million. The number of hours spent streaming on the company’s platform reached 18.3 billion in the first quarter, up from 17.0 billion in the fourth quarter.

For the second quarter, Roku expects revenue of $610 million to $620 million. Analysts tracked by FactSet were projecting $550 million.

Roku anticipates “a mix of headwinds and tailwinds for the rest of 2021 and into 2022,” according to its shareholder letter, amid “volatile year-over-year comparisons” to the beginning of the pandemic, when people increasingly flocked to streaming services. The company expects “robust” but slower growth rates in the second half of the year relative to the first half.

“These volatile year-over-year comparisons will likely be exacerbated by decreased player inventory availability and anticipated cost increases associated with the global supply chain and logistics issues,” Chief Financial Officer Steve Louden added on Roku’s earnings call.

The company remains upbeat about the opportunities ahead in streaming, with the company’s platform general manager Scott Rosenberg saying on a call with reporters that he sees “no growth impediments on the platform side of the business” as Roku is “still getting going in terms of driving consumer engagement and monetization for the business.”

Speaking on Roku’s earnings call, Rosenberg called out the addition of new streaming services like AT&T Inc.’s
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HBO Max and ViacomCBS Inc.’s
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Paramount+ that emerged during the pandemic.

“These partners are leaning in closely and investing with us to promote their services to our user,” he said.

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