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Can Roku Stock Bounce Back After Last Week's 13% Drop?

By Rick Munarriz - Oct 8, 2017 at 10:00AM

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The lead dog in streaming media players stumbles in its first full week as a public company. No worries: It soared 90% the abridged week before.

Roku (ROKU 2.15%) took Wall Street by storm when it made its glitzy debut two weeks ago, but its second week on the market wasn't as glorious. Shares of the company that pioneered the set-top streaming-video player declined 12.6% last week, giving back some of its heady post-IPO gains.

Roku began the week trying to sustain its momentum, issuing a press release on Monday morning announcing new streaming players. Reacting to recent rival introductions, Roku unveiled five new devices priced as low as $29.99 with some upgraded features. Roku also introduced Roku OS 8, the latest operating system for a company that's relying more on its platform than hardware to drive revenue these days. 

One can argue that the market was left unimpressed with Roku's new hardware, but the prior week was going to be a hard act to follow. Roku went public at $14 and soared 68% on its first day of trading. The stock closed out its abridged first week on the market with a nearly 90% pop. Taking a little bit of a breather last week is not the end of the world. 

Roku TV's operating system on a TCL Roku TV.

Image source: Roku.  

We will Roku

Growth investors hungry for a big IPO locked in to Roku's debut late last month. Roku's revenue spurts may not seem very scintillating -- up 22% last year and 23% through the first six months of this year -- and hardware sales are clocking in slightly lower in 2017. However, the platform's popularity is growing. Roku's active accounts have soared 43% to 15.1 million over the past year, and the Wall Street debutante is grabbing a chunk of the revenue it generates when video buffs sign up for some streaming services directly through its platform. 

The revenue Roku is generating may not seem like much. Average revenue per user is just $11.22 over the past year. However, generating about a buck a month per user adds up when your audience base is growing. Roku's average revenue per user has also risen 35% over the past year. 

There were valuation concerns after the initial pop. Roku isn't profitable, and there are reasons the institutional investors who gobbled up the IPO shares were only paying $14 for the stock less than two weeks ago. There are near-term catalysts that could light a new fire under Roku, especially if the new media players take off and the publicity surrounding the IPO make Roku's brand more pervasive in the eyes of consumers.

In short, Roku shares have moved 66% higher in their first seven days of trading. Last week's slide is a bit of a mirage for one of this year's most successful IPOs.

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