Roku stock (ROKU) took flight, soaring as high as 14% in the early trading hours on Wednesday. The reason? Well, Roku unveiled a series of cost-cutting maneuvers aimed at trimming down their operating expenses.
In a regulatory document that dropped Wednesday morning, Roku spilled the beans, revealing plans to bid adieu to 10% of its workforce—roughly 300 jobs. They also decided to put the brakes on their hiring spree. It’s like the third act in a suspenseful drama, as this marks Roku’s third round of layoffs in less than a year. They previously made the cut with 200 jobs in March 2023 and another 200 in November 2022.
Now, when you strip away the charges for things like severance packages and removing select content from their streaming platform, Roku is looking at the third quarter with a newfound financial swagger. They anticipate net revenue to fall within the impressive range of $835 million to $875 million, and adjusted EBITDA to range from negative $40 million to negative $20 million. This performance overshadows their previous Q3 predictions of approximately $815 million in revenue and a negative $50 million in adjusted EBITDA.
Financial analysts couldn’t resist chiming in on this unexpected turn of events, with JPMorgan enthusiastically reiterating its “Overweight” rating on Roku’s stock.
JPMorgan analyst Cory Carpenter couldn’t help but marvel at the surprise boost in guidance. “We (& investors) initially thought Roku’s 3Q revenue guide was conservative, but a 7% increase (at the high-end) two months into the quarter was certainly not expected given the ongoing Hollywood strikes,” Carpenter noted with a raised eyebrow.
He continued, “We believe the revenue increase was in part driven by continued improvement in ad spend across verticals Roku called out as showing green shoots in the first half of the year (i.e., CPG, health/wellness, & travel), a positive read-thru for the online advertising group.” Roku’s financial acrobatics seem to have earned them a standing ovation from Wall Street.