It's been a cool summer for Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) investors. Shares of the streaming video pioneer hit fresh all-time highs last week after posting better-than-expected financial results. An all-time high may seem like a bit of hype for a company that's only been trading publicly for less than 11 months, but we're looking at a stock that has gone on to quadruple since its $14-a-share IPO in late September of last year.
Several analysts juiced up their price targets on the stock, even those with neutral ratings on the shares. Ralph Schackart at William Blair -- a bull with an outperform rating -- argued that the stock's post-earnings price in the low $50s presented upside of around 20%. It took just two days for the stock to pull above $60 for the first time on Friday afternoon, realizing nearly all of Schackart's upside before giving back some of last week's big gains yesterday. Momentum remains in Roku's corner, and now it's just a matter of assessing where the hot rookie stock goes from here.
There's always something on TV
Everything seemed to go right in last week's financial update. Revenue rose 57%, well ahead of the 36% to 46% growth that it was targeting three months earlier. Once again, it was platform revenue -- the money that Roku generates from its streaming operating system in the form of referral commissions, licensing fees, and ad revenue -- driving Roku's strongest top-line growth in its brief publicly traded tenure.
There are now 22 million active accounts that rely on Roku to deliver their streamed content, a 46% surge over the past year. These viewers took in 5.5 billion hours of content, a 57% surge. Naturally, it's great to see see usage outpace account growth, as that's a testament to the platform's stickiness. Roku is also doing a bang-up job of monetizing the improving engagement. Average revenue per user rose 48% to $16.60 over the trailing 12 months, a figure that doesn't amount to much on a monthly basis but it's the reason why platform revenue nearly doubled as we stack usage growth on top of monetization per user.
At least four analysts would go on to jack up their price targets, and not just the bullish Wall Street pros. One can argue that the analysts are merely keeping up with the buoyant share price, but the upward revisions are warranted given the improving fundamentals. None of the analysts were expecting revenue to grow at the pace that it did, and Roku's small yet positive adjusted profit also took them by surprise.
Roku no longer needs to sell its set-top devices to grow its business. With a growing number of smart TV manufacturers embracing the streaming service-agnostic operating system -- and Roku cashing in more effectively with every passing quarter -- the stock is actually chasing the platform's popularity. Everybody wins in that race.