Roku reports bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on stiff competition

The Roku company logo is displayed on a building in Austin, Texas, U.S., October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) -Roku reported a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Thursday, as it grappled with intense competition from deep-pocketed rivals and weak customer spending on video streaming, sending its shares down 15% in extended trading.

The company reported a loss of 55 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a loss of 52 cents, according to LSEG estimates.

Roku faces competition from streaming rivals such as Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video to attract subscribers at a time when Americans are trying to reduce expenses amid sticky inflation.

Roku shares have fallen 4% since a media report on Tuesday that Walmart was in talks to buy the company's rival Vizio for more than $2 billion.

The company has an exclusive deal with the retailer to sell products fulfilled by Walmart on its devices. Roku's stock more than doubled last year.

Roku, however, forecast first-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates. It expects first-quarter net revenue of $850 million, compared with analysts' estimates of $834.1 million, according to LSEG data.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter was up 14% to $984.4 million.

Active accounts grew 14% to 80 million, and streaming hours rose 21% to 29.1 billion. Its average revenue per user (ARPU) slipped 4% to $39.92.

(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam and Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva)

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