Roku surges 30% in stock market debut – TechCrunch

Roku is off to the races since going public on the stock market.

After pricing its IPO shares at $14, the digital content streaming company began trading at $15.78 per share Thursday morning. It’s now trading above $18, up about 30%.

Bankers usually recommend that companies “pop,” in the debut, to make a good impression on public investors. But this can be hard to predict. If the stock goes down on the first day, it can spook market investors, but if it goes up too high that means the company could have sold shares for more. Companies often target gains of about 20-30% on the first day.

Roku’s primary business is its hardware devices, which compete with Apple TV and Chromecast. It also generates advertising revenue from streaming content from Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube.

The company had $399 million in revenue in 2016, but still had losses of $43 million. It’s better than 2015, when revenue was $320 million and losses stood at $38 million.

Roku previously raised at least $200 million in capital, dating back to 2008. Menlo Ventures was the largest stakeholder before the IPO, owning 35.3 percent of the company. Fidelity was the second-largest, owning 12.9 percent.

Roku listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker “ROKU.” Morgan Stanley and Citigroup led the IPO.

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