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Fly News Breaks for February 14, 2020
Feb 14, 2020 | 05:21 EDT
Against the "most favorable backdrop possible" for Roku during Q4, which included the launch of Disney+, Apple TV+, a "particularly awful PayTV quarter" and the fact that new real competition had not launched yet, the company beat consensus subscriber and revenue expectations, Pivotal Research analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak titled "The Best It is Ever Going To Get." However, management pointed to a "year of investment in 2020" that drove 2020 gross profit, EBITDA and earnings materially below consensus expectations, adds the analyst. Looking forward, Wlodarczak sees "signs of all areas of the ecosystem beginning to squeeze Roku." These include traditional distributors, led by Comcast and Cox, aggressively attacking the direct-to-consumer aggregation opportunity with free equipment and programming, says the analyst. Further, TV manufacturers generate little to no profit from their relationship with Roku, and they will inevitably push back, argues Wlodarczak. He reiterates a Sell rating on Roku with a $60 price target. The stock in premarket trading is up 8%, or $11.40, to $150.45.
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