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Roku shares are taking a beating - but its data still looks good

1 month ago by Jon Marino in Earnings, New Media

Roku ($NYSE:ROKU) is having such an atrocious September that none of the Miami Dolphins want to be traded there. 

September has been costly for Roku, and the stock is down more than 35% this month. But a look at all of its digital data suggests most of the market's handwringing is probably seriously overblown. 

First, Roku certainly isn't acting like a streaming entertainment company that's about to capitulate. Yes, there are myriad competitors (and more emerging from the woodwork every day) to square off against - there were already more than two dozen competitors eager to take a bite out of the Streaming OGs' market share when NBC decided to announce Peacock and populate the latest web TV provider's options with hits like "The Office." But Roku is ready to rumble with nearly a 29% rise in job postings so far this year. 

Looking at Roku's ratings, it's clear that users don't love the product as much as they quite did. But, taking a closer look at the numbers, there are two important factors to highlight. First, Roku's user rating in the Google Play App Store remains above 4.5 - which is very high - and second, it has only fallen two-tenths of one percent from its peak - not exactly a catastrophe. 

Here's what is unquestionably good about Roku's data. It has more than 300,000 reviews and data suggests that its engagement is growing in 2019 compared to prior years - not falling. Since late June, it has grown review counts more than 5%. In spite of all that's good about Roku's data, it's hard to ignore the elephant in the streaming industry - Netflix ($NASDAQ:NFLX), which has twenty times as many ratings submitted. But what it lacks, is a rating that is even close to as high as Roku's. 

Netflix is not staffing up at the same pace as Roku; however it is looking to add more "growth" professionals, and given the size of its user base, every player in the streaming space should probably be a little bit worried. 

We conclude with a look at Roku's Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) Talking About Count - or, how many mentions it gets on the social network. While it's clearly down a bit from mid-2018, Roku hasn't slid into obsolescence by any stretch of the imagination - so it may still be a buy for investors. 

There are Wall Street analysts who agree too - Oppenheimer analysts rated the stock 'Outperform,' boosted their target expecations for Roku to $155-a-share, praised its international expansion ambitions and noted "many new services are playing catch-up in a crowded market." 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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