Roku (ROKU -3.83%) has been one of the market's biggest winners in its brief tenure as a publicly traded company. The pioneer of streaming media players padded its gains with a nearly 15% pop last week. There were a couple of positive factors pushing it higher for the week. T-Mobile (TMUS -0.41%) announced that it will launch a disruptive digital TV service next year, something that should benefit Roku as a service-agnostic platform. It was also revealed that Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX) (FOXA) will keep its minority stake in Roku when its proposed $52.4 billion asset sale to Disney goes through in the first half of 2019.
The stock's eventual 14.8% gain for the week follows a blazing-hot November when the shares more than doubled. The stock has now soared 232% since bottoming out in the mid-teens the day it went public less than three months ago. The stock has also closed higher for eight straight weeks.
More ammo for Roku's box
T-Mobile announced that it's acquiring TV tech start-up Layer3 TV, a platform that integrates online video content with social media in five U.S. cities. It's fair to say that Layer3 TV will factor into the service that the wireless carrier plans to roll out nationwide in 2018.
The T-Mobile news sent shares of traditional cable and satellite television providers lower, but Roku understandably went the other way. Unlike the other streaming devices that are tethered to a tech giant, Roku plays nice with just about everybody -- something that is likely playing an important role in the growing number of smart TV manufacturers that are rolling out their televisions with Roku's operating system.
A bet on Roku is more of a wager on its platform than its perpetually evolving hardware line. The better-than-expected 40% surge in revenue in Roku's well-received third quarter was the handiwork of a 137% burst in platform revenue. The more services available like T-Mobile's upcoming offering the more opportunities Roku will have to monetize its platform.
Twenty-First Century Fox holding on to Roku is also interesting. It didn't have a problem selling its 30% stake in Hulu to Disney as part of the head-turning asset sale, a move that will push Disney's stake in that streaming service to 60%. Tapping Roku as one of the few assets that Twenty-First Century Fox will retain suggests that it sees a good outlook for growth there.
No winning streak lasts forever, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Roku closes lower after nearly two months of weekly gains. However, it's also hard to bet against momentum, something that is clearly in Roku's corner these days.