November 7, 2018 / 9:13 PM / in 8 days

Roku forecasts surprise loss for holiday quarter, shares fall

(Reuters) - Roku Inc forecast a surprise holiday-quarter loss and missed third-quarter revenue estimates for its high margin video streaming platform, sending its shares down nearly 13 percent in after-market trading on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO A video sign displays the logo for Roku Inc, a Fox-backed video streaming firm, in Times Square after the company's IPO at the Nasdaq Market in New York, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The outlook overshadowed third-quarter revenue, which beat analysts’ estimates, and a loss that was smaller than expected.

Revenue from Roku’s streaming platform is a closely watched metric and the company has pinned hopes on the segment, which generates profit margins well above 70 percent.

Roku reported revenue of $100.1 million from the streaming platform unit, missing estimates of $103.2 million, according to FactSet data.

DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte said the pullback in shares was also a reflection of expectations being “too high” for the company’s third-quarter results.

STRATEGY CHANGE

Roku’s streaming devices have been facing intense competition from the likes of Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

This led the company to tap other revenue sources, including licensing its technology to television makers and earning a share of the advertising revenue from media companies on its platform.

The company is investing more on content for its recently launched Roku channel and is expanding it to more geographies, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood told Reuters.

“We added several news providers in anticipation of the mid-term elections and it was one of our best news days ever.”

Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $9.5 million, or 9 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $46.2 million, or $8.79 per share, a year earlier. (bit.ly/2qz97eX)

On an adjusted basis, the company lost 9 cents per share. Revenue rose 39 percent to $173.4 million.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 12 cents per share on revenue of $169.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s shares were down 12.6 percent at $51.41 after the bell.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Ken Li in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta

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