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Roku stock soars more than 20% after 'flawless quarter' and big subscription opportunity

10:58 am ET May 9, 2019 (MarketWatch)

By Emily Bary

Company is gaining market share with its smart-TV operating system, recently topping Samsung

The Roku Inc. train keeps rolling, with shares on track to post a sixth daily gain of 20% or more since the company's late-2017 initial public offering.

The stock was soaring more than 22% in Thursday morning trading, after the streaming company posted a revenue beat ( and raised its outlook the prior afternoon.

William Blair analyst Ralph Schackart said that the numbers reflected a "flawless quarter" for Roku (ROKU) given the company's better-than-expected financial results as well as indications that the company is gaining more traction in the market. Roku said Wednesday that it was the top-selling smart-TV operating system in the U.S. for the first time ever in the quarter, topping Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005930.SE) by accounting for more than a third of all smart TVs sold.

Schackart rates the stock at outperform.

Don't miss: Disney earnings beat, but movie revenue drops ahead of 'Endgame' windfall (

Needham analyst Laura Martin cheered the company's "unfolding triple revenue-stream business model," consisting of device revenue, advertising revenue, and subscription revenue from content distribution.

"Reasonable people may differ, and while Roku sees their largest opportunity as the $70 billion of linear TV advertising shifting to over-the-top (OTT), we believe that multiple expansion of the enterprise can be driven by Roku selling subscriptions to Disney+ (DIS) and Apple+ (AAPL) and WarnerBros OTT [streaming] services for which Roku generates a visible revenue stream (and controls the data) so long as that subscriber pays," she wrote.

Martin has a buy rating and $85 target price on the stock.

See more: Roku stock gains after Needham calls Disney+ launch a big catalyst (

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney took a similar view while he upped his target price to $90 from $70 after the report, He wrote that Roku's fundamentals "clearly improved" in the quarter, with 79% growth in platform revenue, 75% growth in streaming hours, and 2 million more sequential net active accounts.

"Near-term, 2019 and 2020 should be the years of new OTT launches ( (Disney, Apple, AT&T (T), etc.) and Roku should be very well positioned against these launches," he wrote. Mahaney has an outperform rating on the stock.

Others remained on the sidelines Thursday. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that while Roku has big growth opportunities ahead, he sees these priced into the shares, which were trading above $79 in the session.

Roku "has positioned itself as best in class for OTT advertising and is poised for international expansion," Pachter wrote. "That said, R&D spending may remain elevated for several years as Roku competes with Amazon and Google for TV licensing, while Roku spends handsomely to expand internationally."

He has a neutral rating on the stock and a $65 target price.

SunTrust's Matthew Thornton said that his "model is under review" after a quarter when there was "not much to complain about." He currently has a hold rating on the stock.

Roku shares have gained 157% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has risen 13%.

-Emily Bary; 415-439-6400;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 09, 2019 10:58 ET (14:58 GMT)

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