Los Gatos-based Roku stormed Wall Street on Thursday as its shares soared to an all-time high after a first-quarter report that surpassed analysts’ expectations and suggested broad growth will continue for the streaming TV technology company.
Roku climbed by more than 28 percent, to $83.35 before closing at $83.17, as investors got behind the company after it reported a loss of 9 cents a share, on $207 million in revenue, for the quarter that ended March 31. During the same period a year ago, Roku lost 7 cents a share, on $136.6 million in sales. Wall Street analyst had forecast Roku to lose 26 cents a share, on revenue of $190 million.
“We saw strong (first-quarter) sales for both Roku TVs and players,” said Chief Executive Anthony Wood, in a statement annoucing Roku’s results late Wednesday. Wood also said the company continued to grow the content of its Roku Channel, which now offers more than 10,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV show episodes, and in the quarter added premium subscriptions, which let Roku users subscribe to networks such as HBO, Showtime and Starz. Roku gets a percentage of the fees from subscriptions placed on its platforms.
While best-known for its set-top boxes that let people watch content from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, Roku has placed more emphasis of late on advertising and its platform business, which includes incorporating its streaming technology directly into smart TVs. Roku said revenue from platforms climbed almost 79% from a year ago, to $134.2 million, while device sales rose 18%, to $72.5 million.
Roku’s active accounts during the quarter increased by 40 percent over the same period a year ago, to 29.1 million accounts, while the amount of time its users spent on their Roku devices surged to 8.9 billioon streaming hours, or 74% more than the 5.1 billion hours streamed in the first quarter of 2018.
Roku also it expects its second-quarter revenue to be in a range of $220 million to $225 million, and full-year sales to reach $1.03 billion to $1.05 billion.