Roku stock soars after IPO raises $219 million

TECHNOLOGY

Roku stock soars after IPO raises $219 million

Shares of Roku, an early player in streaming-video gadgets, soared Thursday after the company’s initial public offering raised $219 million.

The shares priced at $14 each, the top of the company’s expected range, suggesting strong demand from investors and valuing the company at $1.3 billion. The shares rocketed to $23.50 at the close of trading.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company is known for devices that allow users to watch Netflix, Hulu and the growing universe of streaming-video options on their TVs. It has the biggest share of the streaming-gadget market but has deep-pocketed competitors: Amazon.com, Google and Apple.

Most of Roku’s revenue comes from sales of its streaming players. It has amassed $244 million in losses since its founding in 2002.

— Associated Press

ECONOMY

GDP growth revised upward to 3.1 percent

The U.S. economy grew at an upgraded annual rate of 3.1 percent in the spring, the fastest pace in more than two years. But growth is expected to slow sharply this quarter in the wake of devastating hurricanes.

The April-to-June expansion in the gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — is up slightly from a 3 percent estimate made a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It is the strongest performance since the economy grew at a 3.2 percent pace in the first quarter of 2015.

The year started with a lackluster 1.2 percent gain in the first quarter. Economists say growth has slowed again, to about 2 percent in the current quarter.

The revised figure was the government’s third and final look at the GDP for the April-to-June period and left the GDP rising at an average 2 percent pace over the first six months of the year.

Economists at Moody’s Analytics have estimated that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will end up costing about $167 billion when taking into account property damage and lost economic output. That would put the two storms’ fallout close to the devastation in 2005 caused by Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Claims for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 last week, to 272,000, as Florida and Georgia continued to absorb the economic impact of Hurricane Irma. Labor Department figures show that claims fell last week in Puerto Rico, which is reeling from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But the picture is unclear because Maria disrupted the collection of data. Overall, the number of Americans collecting unemployment checks has fallen nearly 7 percent over the past year to 1.93 million.

Swedish home goods giant Ikea said it is buying the on-demand services platform TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean their homes or assemble furniture. Much of Ikea’s furniture requires assembly. TaskRabbit is to be an independent entity within Ikea.

Federal regulators have approved the first continuous blood-sugar monitor for diabetics that does not need backup finger-prick tests. Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System uses a sensor attached to the upper arm. Patients wave a reader device over it to see the current blood-sugar level and changes over the past eight hours.

Toshiba and a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity signed a deal to sell the Japanese electronics company’s computer memory chip business, a move long opposed by Toshiba’s U.S. joint venture partner, Western Digital. The $18 billion deal was announced earlier, and Toshiba’s board signed off on it last week. Western Digital has vowed to continue with legal action to stop the sale of the NAND flash-memory SanDisk joint venture. Toshiba said it will go ahead with the deal despite any moves by Western Digital to block it.

— From news services

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Personal income and spending.

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