Roku on Friday saw its shares surge more than 22 percent as the company continued to benefit from big gains in new users of its streaming technology products and services.
Late Thursday, Los Gatos-based Roku — which is best-known for its line of set-top boxes and devices that allow consumer to stream the services of Netflix, Hulu and a thousands of other video options — said it ended 2018 with 27.1 million active accounts, a gain of 7.8 million accounts over what it reported it 2017. The amount of time Roku’s users spent streaming programming on its devices last year also climbed by 69 percent, to 7.3 billion hours.
Roku gave an update on its users as part of its fourth-quarter business report, in which it said it earned 5 cents a share, on $275.7 million in revenue, compared to Wall Street analysts’ forecasts for a profit of 3 cents a share of $262.1 million in revenue. During the same period in 2017, Roku earned 6 cents a share, on revenue of $188.3 million.
Those results gave investors enough confidence to push Roku’s stock price up Friday by $11.40, to $62.82. With those gains, Roku’s share price has more than doubled since the start of the year.
Roku has been branching out from its traditional streaming TV products, and has seen revenue from advertising and licensing of its technology platform become its biggest source of sales. This has included TV manufacturers building what are called Roku TVs with Roku’s streaming technology built into the devices. Roku said that in 2018, 25 percent of all the smart TVs sold in the United States were Roku TVs.
While sales of Roku products climbed 21 percent in the fourth quarter, to $124.3 billion, revenue from its platform deals surged 77 percent, to $151.4 million.