Shares of Roblox (NYSE: RBLX) have been down in the dumps in 2022, losing 67% of their value as fears regarding a slowdown in the company’s growth have led investors to press the panic button.
However, Roblox stock shot up significantly higher in June despite the absence of any company-specific information, giving investors some relief after a forgettable year so far. But does this spike mean that investors who were looking to buy a metaverse stock on the cheap have lost an opportunity to do so? Let’s find out.
Roblox stock remains attractive despite the jump
Roblox operates an online platform that’s used by developers and creators to create, publish, and operate three-dimensional (3D) virtual experiences such as video games and other virtual worlds. The demand for its offerings shot up remarkably in the wake of the pandemic, leading to rapid growth in Roblox’s user base and revenue.
Roblox’s eye-popping growth led to a terrific rally after the stock made its debut on the market on March 10, 2021, by way of a direct listing.
Not surprisingly, Roblox’s valuation went through the roof. Shares were trading at nearly 36 times sales last year. However, the stock’s severe crash this year has brought the sales multiple down to 9. That means investors can buy Roblox at a much cheaper valuation. But should they buy this beaten-down tech stock right now?
More pain could be in the cards
Roblox is finding it difficult to sustain its eye-popping growth in 2022. The company’s first-quarter 2022 revenue had shot up 39% year-over-year to $537 million, but a 3% drop in the company’s bookings to $631 million was a red flag. That’s because Roblox’s bookings refer to the virtual currency purchased by users to spend on virtual items such as pets, accessories, and outfits within its 3D worlds. The bookings are recognized as revenue once Roblox users spend their virtual currencies on items.
So, a slowdown in Roblox’s bookings means that its revenue growth will ultimately take a hit. Analysts are expecting Roblox’s bookings to increase just 4% in 2022 to $2.84 billion. That would be a huge drop over last year’s bookings growth of 45% to $2.73 billion. What’s more, Roblox’s user metrics for the month of May 2022 indicate that its bookings are now decelerating at a more alarming pace.
The company’s estimated bookings for May were down between 9% and 11% year-over-year to a range of $196 million to $199 million. The estimated average bookings per daily active user fell 23% to 24% year-over-year to a range of $3.89 to $3.95. For comparison, Roblox’s bookings were down between 8% and 10% year-over-year in the month of April.
All of this indicates that users are spending less money on Roblox’s platform. That’s not surprising, as the company is facing tough year-over-year comparisons — over the past two years, user engagement and spending increased substantially amid the pandemic. However, Roblox’s growth is expected to gain momentum from next year once the tough year-over-year comparisons are behind it.
Investors may have a chance to buy Roblox stock more cheaply if shares head lower in the short run, and they should consider grabbing such an opportunity with both hands. Here’s why.
The company is built for long-term growth
Analysts forecast a 15.5% increase in Roblox’s bookings in 2023. What’s more, Roblox’s revenue growth is also expected to step on the gas over the next couple of years.
It isn’t surprising to see why analysts are expecting Roblox’s growth rate to improve in the coming years. After all, the demand for Roblox’s 3D virtual experiences is likely to take off nicely thanks to a major catalyst in the form of the metaverse, a concept that’s currently in its early phase of growth.
The metaverse enables the virtual avatars of real people to work, play, socialize, and collaborate in 3D virtual worlds. The metaverse market is expected to clock a compound annual growth rate of 47% through 2027, which means that the demand for virtual worlds should increase rapidly. Roblox has already struck partnerships with some big names to ensure that it remains on top of the metaverse opportunity.
What’s more, the company plans to diversify its business by adding new revenue streams such as advertising, which could unlock a major revenue opportunity in the long run. As such, Roblox could regain its mojo on the stock market once its growth picks up the pace, which is why investors may want to take advantage of any potential dips in the stock price to add this potential long-term winner to their portfolios.