The decline was partly due to a move on the part of investors away from tech stocks that had been pushed higher during earlier phases of the pandemic. It was also powered by concerns that the digital content platform will post slowing growth and weaker earnings in 2022.
Roblox's April decline isn't quite as jarring when you consider the wider investing climate. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index dove 13% during the month, and many formerly high-flying stocks, including Amazon and Meta Platforms, fell by more than 20%.
That type of bearish market environment is bound to impact less established companies like Roblox, especially given its expanded net losses.
There are specific concerns around its digital platform, too. Roblox is seeing less demand for its online currency, and usage rates are slowing on its service compared to soaring results in earlier phases of the pandemic. Digital entertainment peers like Netflix and Activision Blizzard have each announced weaker results for early 2022 as consumers prioritize other entertainment options like travel and dining out.
Investors won't have to wait long for more clarity about the path that Roblox's business is walking. The company will report its fiscal first-quarter results on Wednesday, May 11.
That announcement will be scrutinized for signs that Roblox is losing profit power. Those signs might show up in weaker engagement trends, slower user gains, and reduced spending on its platform. A certain amount of slowdown is to be expected following soaring growth in these metrics through most of 2020 and 2022, but it also clouds the investment picture.
Watch for CEO David Baszucki and his team to stress the bullish bets they are making on future growth, including with metaverse partnerships. As for finances, executives tend to highlight Roblox's consistently positive cash flow rather than its net operating losses.
That cash flow has allowed Roblox to invest aggressively into making the platform a better experience for its users and its developer partners. Yet there might be more pressure on the company to scale back that pace of spending in an era of potentially slower user growth ahead.