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Roku Preliminary Q1 Results Point to Another Blockbuster Quarter

By Danny Vena – Apr 14, 2020 at 6:31AM

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The streaming pioneer announced two key metrics that give investors keen insight into its first-quarter results.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the various stay-at-home orders is streaming video. While the trend was already firmly established, consumers sheltering at home have gathered around the television and streaming platforms have attracted much of their time.

While Roku (ROKU -0.67%) isn't planning to release its full Q1 2020 results until early May, the company pulled back the curtain and announced preliminary results after the market close on Monday, and by all accounts, it appears to signal another blowout quarter. The bullish preview sent the stock up more than 10% in after-hours trading. Let's look at the numbers that had investors so excited. 

A wall-mounted television showing The Roku Channel home screen.

Image source: Roku.

Booming operating metrics

Roku provided two operating metrics that illustrated the strength of the company's position in the streaming market, as well as a preview of the company's financial results.

Management estimates that active accounts climbed to 39.8 million, nearly three million higher than it had in the December quarter. If that holds, it would represent an increase of about 37% year over year, and accelerating from the 36% gains in the fourth quarter.

Even more telling is the jump in streaming hours, which Roku believes soared to 13.2 billion, an increase of 1.5 billion hours since Q4, and representing a tentative increase of 49% year over year.

Strong financial performance

The preliminary revenue results were also above Roku's previous outlook. The company is now expecting total net revenue in a range of $307 million to $317 million, a year-over-year increase of between 49% and 54%. For perspective, Roku had previously guided for revenue in a range of $300 million and $310 million, or growth of between 45% and 50%. 

The company is now anticipating total gross profit in a range of $139 million to $144 million, up between 38% and 43% year over year, but below its previous guidance of $143 million and $148 million. This is likely the result of a jump in Roku player sales, which is a lower margin business, and which would account for the shrinking gross profit after an overall increase in revenue.

Roku's forecast for a net loss of between $60 million to $55 million remains unchanged.

A nod to the pandemic

While management was generally upbeat about the results, it pulled its full-year guidance as a result of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"While we believe that our offerings to consumers, content providers and advertisers will enable our Company to deliver value in these uncertain times, the wider business and consumer impacts, as well as the duration of the pandemic, are unclear and thus we are withdrawing our prior 2020 outlook," said Steve Louden, Roku's Chief Financial Officer. He also noted the pressure on advertising, saying, "While we expect some marketers to pause or reduce ad investments in the near term, we believe that the targeted and measurable TV ads and unique sponsorship capabilities that Roku offers are highly beneficial to brands today."

Management ended the quarter with $587 million in cash and short-term investments, including a $70 million draw-down of its revolving credit. "We decided it was prudent to draw down our credit facility in light of current financial market conditions," Louden said.

Roku plans to deliver its full first quarter results after the market close on Thursday, May 7.  

Danny Vena owns shares of Roku. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Roku. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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