It was another down day for streaming-leader Roku (ROKU -3.29%). Despite a new agreement with Lions Gate Entertainment that will give Roku users exclusive access to theatrical releases from the movie studio, investors continued to sell streaming stocks over weakening subscriber trends.
Still, the deal with Lionsgate highlights the value that The Roku Channel's 80 million viewers bring to content owners. Roku has fallen 80% from it's all-time high -- is the stock a buy?
Reasons to like Roku as a long-term investment
While some of the drop can be blamed on negative sentiment in the market overall, streaming stocks are deeply out of favor with investors right now. You can blame Netflix's disappointing subscriber numbers -- the leading streaming service reported a decline of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter.
Roku's momentum started to slow in 2021. The company reported decelerating growth in active accounts through the year, but it still sees a large addressable market. There are about 1 billion connected TVs globally. With only 60 million active accounts, there's still plenty of opportunity for Roku to generate growth and create returns for shareholders.
Management expects that TVs are going to gradually center around one or two operating systems on which people manage their streaming content. Roku is positioned to be one of the few platforms for streaming video content. Management claims to have surpassed Samsung's TV operating system in market share, and Roku is having early success expanding internationally. It's gone from 0% market share in Mexico to 20% in just a few years.
The one advantage for Roku is The Roku Channel, which doubled its hours watched in 2021. The recent agreement with Lionsgate will only bolster the content available on the channel, with the possibility of pulling in more users.
However, with the stock continuing to hit new lows and Netflix's weak quarter foreshadowing another deceleration in account growth in the next earnings report, I would wait until Roku begins to string together a few quarters of better earnings results before buying shares.