Roku Earnings, Guidance Yield Massive Pounding from Investors

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Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) reported fourth-quarter and full fiscal year 2017 results after markets closed Wednesday afternoon. The streaming media device maker posted diluted pro forma earnings per share (EPS) of $0.06 on net sales of $188.26 million. Fourth-quarter results compare to consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $0.10 and $182.54 million in sales. The fourth quarter was Roku’s first as a publicly traded company.

For the full year Roku reported a net loss of $2.24 per share on net sales of $512.76 million. Analysts’ consensus called for per share loss of $1.80 and revenues of $$507.04 million.

So why is the stock trading down around 20% in the after-hours session? At a share price of around $51 the stock traded about nearly 4 times its early October IPO price. That’s pretty rich for a company that’s expecting to lose between $10 and $25 million next year and that posted a net loss of $63.5 million in the year just ended.

The company also noted that it expects its hardware player revenues to continue falling:

In Q4 2017, player units grew 8% year-over-year and the mix shift to a lower-priced product along with price reductions on our high-end Ultra model resulted in a 14% year-over-year decline in average selling price and a 7% year-over-year decline in player revenue to $102.8 million. Our deliberate strategy to drive account growth through our Roku TV licensing program, emphasizing sales of lower-cost players and building up our player licensing program continues to prove effective, as demonstrated by 44% active account growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 the company forecast a net loss of $15 to $21 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $10 to $16 million. Revenues is forecast at $120 to $130 million and gross profit is pegged at $52 to $58 million. Analysts were looking for a per share loss of $0.19 and revenues of $131.71 million.

For the full year, Roku expects revenue of $660 to $690 million, gross profit of $275 to $295 million, a net loss of $40 to $55 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $10 to $25 million. Analysts had been looking for a net loss of $0.43 per share and revenues of $661.5 million.

Moving from a net profit in the fourth quarter of $6.94 million to a net loss more than double that is not offset by a full-year projection of a net loss of $40 to $55 million, which is well below the $63.5 million loss for 2017. It looks like Roku expects most of its losses in the first half of the year and most of its profits in the second half.

Taking their cue from that, investors may have decided to sell now and buy later, when the price is significantly lower than it is now.

In any event, Roku traded down nearly 20% in the after-hour session at $40.90 after closing at $51.10. The stock’s post-IPO range is $15.75 to $58.80 and the consensus price target before this afternoon’s report was $32. 80.

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