Roblox Doubles Revenue Following Stock Market Debut as Daily Active Users, Bookings Soar in First Quarter
05:46 AM EDT, 05/11/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Roblox (RBLX), an online gaming developer that went public in March, more than doubled its revenue in the first quarter as it continued to benefit from the COVID-19 related limitations on outdoor entertainment and social interactions.
Sales increased to $387 million during the three months ended March 31, from $161.6 million a year ago, the San Mateo, California-based group known for its games Jailbreak and MeepCity said in its earnings statement on Monday. Analysts polled by Capital IQ had expected revenue of $572.3 million.
The company, which was included in the TIME magazine's inaugural list of TIME100 Most Influential Companies in the world last month, said its 79% year-over-year growth in average daily active users to 42.1 million was driven by a surge in customers outside the US and Canada and popularity among new users over the age of 13.
While coronavirus vaccinations have picked up pace in countries such as the UK and US, the distribution and availability of vaccines remains patchy in many other parts of the world, especially developing countries.
Nevertheless, the soaring number of daily active users helped produce a 161% increase in bookings to $652.3 million in the quarter. Bookings primarily reflect the value of virtual currency that users purchase on the company's platform and include deferred revenue and other adjustments for the period. Free cash flow, which is based on data including bookings, grew by more than four times to $142.1 million.
"The opportunity of what we're building at Roblox is massive," Chief Executive David Baszucki said. "Our first quarter results enabled us to continue investing aggressively in the key areas that we believe will drive long term growth and value, specifically hiring talented engineering and product professionals and growing the earnings for our developer community."
Roblox, which was started at overweight at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) with a price target of $85 earlier in May, reported a loss of $0.46 per diluted share, wider than a loss of $0.44 a year ago.
Personnel costs, excluding stock-based compensation, came in at $89.5 million in the first quarter, up 110% year over year. The company said developer exchange fees were the fastest growing of its key investment areas, up by 167% from a year ago. The growth in spending was primarily driven by investments in data centers necessary to support the increased levels of activity on the platform, it added.
"Our net losses increased due to the higher levels of expense required to support growth of the business and the fact that we have a large deferred revenue component," the shareholder letter said. "Since our investment decisions are generally based on levels of non-GAAP bookings, we expect to continue to report net losses for the foreseeable future even as we anticipate generating net cash provided by operating activities."
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