Roku (Finally) Surges on Better-Than-Expected Q4 Revenue

Roku headquarters in San Jose, California
(Image credit: Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Routinely pounded by Wall Street after every earnings report going back six quarters, Roku finally won one Wednesday when it reported a better-than-expected 5% year-over-year surge in fourth-quarter advertising revenue to $731.3 million. 

The consensus forecasts of equity analysts pegged Roku's overall revenue to come in at around $803 million, but Roku delivered total sales of $867.1 million in Q4, roughly flat with the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Roku already gave away some of its best news at CES in early January, when it disclosed that active users had surged by 4.6 million to 70 million, putting the company's base about 10 million users higher from where it started 2022. 

Subsequently, hours spent streaming on Roku from Oct. 1 - Dec. 31 increased 23% from the fourth quarter of 2021 to nearly 24 billion. 

Roku once again lost month selling hardware, the engine that drives usage uptick of its platform ... and subsequently, ad sales. 

Hardware losses totaled $43.6 million in Q4, roughly flat with the year ago quarter, as Roku continued to grapple with global supply chain issues. 

Notably, Roku just launched its own branded line of smart TVs, as well as a robust line of smart home products. 

The 11% after-hours trading gain came despite the fact that Roku continues to lose money -- it reported a Q4 adjusted EBITDA loss of $95.2 million. 

In its Q4 letter to shareholders, Roku continued to hammer home its primacy in North America. In the U.S., it noted, 38% of smart TV's sold in Q4 were powered by Roku, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 TV operating systems combined. And Roku remains the top TVOS in Canada and Mexico, the company added. 

Roku mentioned entries into the UK and Germany with its biggest smart TV manufacturing partner, China's TCL, but it remains to be seen if Roku can also establish dominance in Europe, a hotly contested TVOS market right now that seems to be wide open. 

Roku Q4 2022 results (Image credit: Roku)
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!