Roku shares slump 15% on widening loss

Roku shares slump 15% on widening loss

Shares have jumped nearly 400% this year

Roku Inc. shares were creamed 15% in after-hours trading Wednesday after it reported a third-quarter loss nearly triple that of a year ago.

Roku ROKU, +1.06%, a maker of video-streaming hardware, reported an adjusted loss of $26.5 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a loss of $9.5 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue did jump 50% to $260.9 million, from $173.4 million a year ago. And the company reported 32.3 million active accounts, a net addition of 1.7 million from the previous quarter. Roku also reported a 30% year-over-year hike in average revenue per user, at $22.58. Both figures beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Roku to report a GAAP loss of 28 cents a share on sales of $257 million.

Separately, Roku on Wednesday announced its intention acquire ad-tech company Dataxu for $150 million. “We believe the dataxu acquisition will accelerate our platform’s advertising technology roadmap, strengthen our already industry-leading TV streaming platform and give us the opportunity to create an even more appealing offering for advertisers,” Roku Chief Executive Anthony Wood and Chief Financial Officer Steve Louden said in a letter to shareholders.

Roku makes streaming dongles and owns a streaming platform and channel. It went public in 2017 and its stock has been one of the hottest of the year, up 360% in 2019. That compares with gains around 23% and 18% for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.07% and the Dow Jones Industrial DJIA, +0.00% , respectively, in the same period.

The company was under some strain, however, from increased competition, including Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.04% recently launched Apple TV+. Roku also faces fierce competition from Inc.’s AMZN, -0.33% Fire TV and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL, -0.03% GOOG, -0.02% Google’s Chromecast.

During a conference call with analysts following the quarterly report Wednesday, Wood said an avalanche of content with the launch of new streaming services from Apple and Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.14% will hike net additions to active Roku accounts, bolstering ad revenue in the process.

The fourth quarter is typically Roku’s strongest. Analysts polled by FactSet expect a much-narrower loss (4 cents a share) and significantly higher revenue ($386 million) for the December quarter.

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