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Will Roku's Stellar Growth Continue When It Reports Earnings?

By Danny Vena – Nov 3, 2018 at 11:18AM

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After posting its fastest rate of growth in nearly five years, can the streaming specialist continue the trend?

Going into its second-quarter financial report, Roku (ROKU 5.60%) had its share of doubters, but the company put the naysayers in their place by posting better-than-expected growth, which caused its shares to surge more than 20%. The celebration was short-lived, however, once reports surfaced that Amazon was developing a streaming service called Free Dive which could potentially challenge The Roku Channel -- even though the service has yet to launch.

Investors will be watching closely for any indications that growth is slowing when Roku reports its third quarter financial results after the market closes on Wednesday, Nov 7. Let's take a look at the company's most recent results to see if they provide any insight into what to expect when Roku reports earnings.

A laptop displaying various movies available on The Roku Channel.

Image source: Roku.

A solid stream of growth

For the second quarter, net revenue came in at $157 million, jumping 57% year over year; this was significantly higher than analysts' consensus estimates of $141 million. Roku boasted that this was the fastest rate of growth it had achieved since the fourth quarter of 2013. Its profit results were equally unexpected, as the company broke even -- analysts had been anticipating a $0.15-per-share loss.

Roku's bet on its platform segment is paying off, as revenue of $90 million soared 96% year over year, while sales from the player segment climbed to $66 million, up 24% compared to the prior-year quarter. Gross margin for the platform business of nearly 70% helped drive more to the bottom line, accelerating the company's move toward profitability.

It wasn't just financial metrics that shined during the quarter. Roku reported the number of active accounts grew to 22 million, up 46% year over year, while streaming hours jumped 57% to an incredible 5.5 billion hours, with the fastest growth coming from Roku TVs. Trailing-12-month average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 48% year over year to a record of $16.60. In addition,  The Roku Channel is now a top 5 channel by active account reach.

An increasingly bright future

Based on the strength of the company's recent performance, Roku raised its full-year guidance, and is now anticipating revenue of $720 million at the midpoint of its guidance and a net loss of between $10 million and $22 million. Roku will continue to invest in key growth areas, but plans to "manage the business to roughly break-even during this period of market expansion."

For the third quarter, Roku forecast net revenue in a range of $164 million to $172 million, an increase of between 31% and 38% year over year. The company is also expecting a net loss of between $13 million and $18 million, much improved from the net loss of $46 million in the prior-year quarter.

Roku pioneered the devices that enabled the wider adoption of streaming more than a decade ago, and the company continues to innovate and capitalize on the paradigm it helped to create. As more and more viewing moves from linear TV to internet streaming, the company stands to gain by capturing the transition of advertising dollars to this new medium of consumption. If Roku continues to execute -- and there's no reason to believe it won't -- investors will be enjoying the benefits for years to come.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of AMZN and Roku, Inc. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends AMZN. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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