We are halfway through the calendar year and stock markets are sitting right about where they began 2018. Optimism about economic growth and lower corporate taxes has roughly balanced with worries about trade disruptions to leave the S&P 500 up by just 1% through the six months ending on June 30.
A few companies have dramatically outperformed that result by logging gains of as much as 245% so far this year. Below, we’ll take a closer look at a few of these standout stocks.
Hot Stocks To Watch For 2019: Roku, Inc.(ROKU)
When people think about cutting the cord from their cable TV operator, names that usually spring to mind include Amazon.com, Netflix, and maybe Hulu, but the one they should be thinking about is Roku.
The streaming device maker is actually in the midst of a major transformation to move away from hardware sales to one where its advertising platform is central to its business thesis. Last quarter Roku was finally able to make the pivot so that revenues from ads and fees exceeded those of its devices. Platform revenues more than doubled to $75.1 million, significantly ahead of the $61.5 million it made on its players.
It’s not abandoning the device market — a branded sound bar for controlling a home entertainment system will be coming to market soon — but advertising revenue will be the focus from here on out. It just launched its own ad marketplace and has lined up some heavy hitters, including Turner Broadcasting, Fox, and Viacom. According to Cord Cutter News, 70% of those who have cut the cord own a Roku device, while the maker of OTA DVRs, TabloTV, says 70% of its users also use a Roku device.
As the viewing public increasingly moves to streaming, they’ll turn to Roku in one form or another, and those advertisers trying to reach them, will do so as well.
Hot Stocks To Watch For 2019: Netflix, Inc.(NFLX)
Shares of streaming video giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) have doubled this year following a few quarterly reports that have investors feeling giddy about its growth potential. Its most recent outing was highlighted by a record 43% sales spike that came as subscriber gains blew past management’s forecasts despite a 14% increase in average membership fees.
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Those two trends imply that the streamer has a long runway for growth ahead both in its global subscriber base and in monthly prices that currently hover around $11. Netflix will post its next earnings report in mid-July, when it is expected to reveal it added another 6 million members worldwide.