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Susquehanna downgrades Roku citing near-term macro pressures


Now might not be the time to pick up shares of Roku , according to Susquehanna. The firm downgraded shares of the streaming company Friday to neutral and slashed its price target to $70 from $200. That represents a more than 17% downside from where shares closed at about $85 Thursday. Mounting macroeconomic pressures in the near-term are the catalyst behind the downgrade. “We continue to view CTV as the next leg of growth in digital advertising and still believe ROKU is one of the best-positioned companies to capture the CTV opportunity in the long run,” analyst Shyam Patil wrote. “However, macro headwinds such as rising inflation and supply chain disruptions are having a severe impact on the business – both on the advertising side and the engagement side through lower consumer discretionary spending.” Susquehanna’s downgrade comes after Roku reported quarterly results Thursday that missed both top and bottom-line estimates. The company cited macroeconomic conditions such as inflation and supply chain issues for the weak quarter. Shares slumped following the news and were down nearly 23% in premarket trading Friday. Advertising revenue suffered in the second quarter, and will likely face pressure going forward, the company said. It also noted that it pulled back on hiring and operating expenses in the second quarter. “Management said macro headwinds resulted in many advertisers slowing spend in the scatter market, and this dynamic worsened throughout the quarter,” said Patil. “ROKU again called out CPG and auto as verticals particularly impacted.” Roku gave a third quarter outlook that reflected a difficult macro environment going forward. The company also withdrew its full-year growth guidance citing the uncertainties it sees in the coming months. “ROKU expects 3Q revenue of $700m, up 3% y/y, 23% below our estimate and 22% below consensus. Management said the change is due to the very challenging macro environment, including rising inflation and supply chain disruptions,” Patil wrote. “ROKU believes the macro will continue to negatively impact advertising spend in the scatter market as well as consumer discretionary spend, which will pressure Roku TV and player sales.” –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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