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Why Roku Stock Dropped 26.7% in November

By Steve Symington – Dec 11, 2018 at 8:57PM

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The media streaming company fell hard despite a solid quarterly report. Here's what investors need to know.

What happened

Shares of Roku (ROKU -4.31%) declined 26.7% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the media-streaming platform leader's latest quarterly results left the market underwhelmed.

To be clear, Roku's quarter looked good at first glance. Revenue climbed 39% year over year to $173.4 million, which translated to a net loss of $11.7 million, or $0.09 per share. Both the top and bottom lines arrived above Roku's guidance, which called for revenue of $164 million to $172 million, and a wider net loss of $13 million to $18 million. 

TV displaying Roku's streaming interface displayed on a television with Roku streaming stick nearby


So what

By segment, Roku's enjoyed a 74% increase in platform revenue to $100.1 million, and a 9% increase in player revenue to $73.3 million. Underlying that growth was 43% increase in active accounts to 23.8 million, a 63% gain in streaming hours to 6.2 billion, and a 37% gain in average revenue per user, to $17.34.

So why did shares plunge? As it turns out, most analysts watching the stock were already modeling platform segment revenue of closer to $103 million, primarily given assumptions that Roku would be able to better capitalize on its fast-growing, highly engaged user base.

Now what

Management remained optimistic during the subsequent conference call, insisting that it doesn't see "a near-term ceiling on [Roku's] growth opportunity," while noting that Roku's current market share still represents only a small slice of the overall TV advertising industry.

In the meantime, Roku expects fourth-quarter revenue in the range of $255 million to $265 million -- or growth of roughly 38% from the same year-ago period -- which should translate to a bottom line in the range of a $4 million loss to net income of $3 million. 

As such, and with shares trading at less than half their 52-week high set in early October, I think patient investors willing to watch Roku's long-term story play out could do well to consider opening or adding to a position now.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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