Oppenheimer Sees 15% Upside for Roku

Roku Inc. (ROKU) shares are poised to offer 15% more upside as the streaming platform is making a comeback, said Oppenheimer analysts. Roku shares were up 5.6% early in Tuesday’s session as Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to outperform from perform, saying it expects subscribers to increase with Roku’s growing competitive edge.

Last fall, Roku launched its own channel on its streaming platform, giving its customers free access to movies and television shows with content that it licenses directly from TV and film studios. That move gave the company more clout against streaming giant Netflix Inc. (NFLX), known for its increasing variety of original programming. Roku is also positioning itself to better compete against Apple TV and Google Chromecast, which are other popular streaming services.

“The rapid adoption of The Roku Channel gives us incremental confidence in the channel's ability to garner viewership on other platforms, such as Samsung, allowing Roku to monetize a broader portion of the OTT ecosystem than we had previously assumed was possible,” Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein wrote in a note to clients. He said Roku should be able to benefit from “its advantages in pricing and merchandising to remain the market leader in consumer-facing connected television solutions.”

Optimism on Roku’s Business

Oppenheimer has a $50 price target on Roku stock, which is up about 92% in the past year, trading near $45.71 early Tuesday.

Helfstein estimated that the Roku Channel is 0.63% of “domestic time-spent” on the platform, or the “12th most-watched app by viewing hours.” The content on Roku’s channel is free because it is supported by ads.

Roku shares have been rebounding after falling to near $30 in early April, as the stock garnered more positive backing from Wall Street analysts. A 22% gain in the past month has otherwise trimmed the stock's year-to-date losses. (See also: Roku Stock Seen Gaining 11% as Forecasts Rise.)ye

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