Shares of Roku Inc. (NASDAQ:ROKU) soared 67.9% on Thursday, as investors cheered the streaming-video platform specialist on its first day as a publicly traded company.
Yesterday Roku priced its initial public offering of just over 18 million shares at $14 per share -- at the high end of its expected $12 to $14 range -- including nine million shares issued and sold by the company itself, and 6,668,000 shares from selling stockholders. There's a 30-day option for the deal's underwriters to buy up to 2,350,200 additional shares.
Roku is indeed growing quickly, and stands poised to benefit as a leading TV streaming platform while over-the-top solutions disrupt traditional television consumption. But rather than driving growth through its flagship streaming devices, Roku benefits on the top line primarily from increases in advertising and subscription sales on its platform. To be sure, revenue in the first half of 2017 has climbed 23% year over year to $199.7 million, as a 2% decline in streaming-player sales (which represented 59% of total revenue) was more than offset by 91% growth in platform revenue.
Of course, Roku certainly isn't alone in its ambitions, and faces well-funded competitors including the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet's Google. Roku is also currently unprofitable, posting a net loss of $24.2 million through the first six months of 2017 (albeit narrowed from a $33.2 million net loss in the same year-ago period).
So while today's IPO was a smashing success, and it might be tempting to ride Roku's wave of momentum even higher, I'm content watching its progress from the sidelines for at least another quarter. That should provide some time for Roku's post-IPO volatility to subside, and for patient investors to better assess whether Roku stock is worth a long-term investment.