Roblox bookings fall 3% to $631.2M in Q1

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Roblox, the platform for Lego-like user-generated games, reported its bookings for the first quarter that ended on March 31 were $631.2 million, down 3% from the same period a year ago.

The San Mateo company reported a net loss of $160.2 million on revenues of $537.1 million for the first quarter, compared to a loss of $134.2 million on revenues of $386.9 million a year earlier.

Roblox has done well among its target audience of children and teens during the pandemic, as players turned to it for remote, socially distanced play with their friends at a time when they couldn’t meet in-person. Its continual challenge is in hanging on to the players as they get older.

Roblox previously raised $520 million at a $29.5 billion valuation in a financing round ahead of its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange as a public company. It opened on March 10, 2021 at a valuation of $41.9 billion a share. It also raised up to $1 billion through debt known as secured notes. It stock has been trading around $16 billion in the wake of difficult market conditions.

In after-hours trading, Roblox’s stock is down 9.45% to $20.99 a share.

“We remained focused on delivering our innovation roadmap to unlock the full potential of the Roblox platform and drive long-term returns for investors,” said David Baszucki, CEO of Roblox, in a statement. “Over the past two quarters, we have launched a number of notable innovations including spatial voice and layered clothing that will continue driving user growth, engagement and monetization.”

Q1 results

Dave Baszucki (left) and Dan Sturman of Roblox.

Analysts expected a loss of 21 cents a share on bookings of $644 million for the first quarter. Most video game companies emphasize non-GAAP bookings, or the total value of virtual currency purchases by players during the quarter, instead of revenues, which under accounting rules are limited to those purchases that are expected to be fully resolved within a certain time period. For instance, a player may buy Robux currency in the first quarter, but spend it over 10 months. That revenue has to be recognized over time, as it is spent inside the platform’s games.

Roblox’s quarterly revenue came in at $537.1 million, up 39% from a year earlier. The GAAP net loss for the quarter was $160.2 million, or 27 cents a share. Net cash from operations was $156.4 million and free cash flow was $104.6 million.

Roblox’s goal is to build the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as SnowCrash and Ready Player One.

Roblox gets a 30% cut from the bookings generated by sales of Robux, the virtual currency used by players to play user-generated games, the company’s bookings for 2020 were $1.9 billion, double what they were the year before. Roblox’s games have become so popular that people have played the best ones billions of times.

In the first quarter, average daily active users (DAU) were 54.1 million, up 28% from a year earlier. Hours engaged were 11.8 billion, up 22% from a year ago, and average bookings per DAU were $11.67.

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