Roblox bookings miss Wall Street target as easing restrictions hurt online gaming


(Reuters) – Roblox Corp’s quarterly bookings beat market expectations on Monday as easing restrictions slowed a pandemic-fueled surge in spending on its games, including “Jailbreak” and “MeepCity,” pushing down its 5% shares.

The company, one of the world’s most popular children’s game sites, is a pandemic winner that has benefited from stay-at-home orders.

But with schools reopening after vaccines were rolled out in the US, online games have lagged as children are now encouraged to return to outdoor activities.

The company’s bookings rose just 35% to $665.5 million for the second quarter ended June 30, compared to a 161% increase in bookings in the prior quarter. Analysts expected $683.3 million.

Roblox generates most of its reservations from purchases of “Robux” virtual currency by children, who then use it to upgrade player avatars by purchasing in-game items like a hat, pet, or accessories .

The company, which offers a slew of titles on mobile devices and game consoles, said average bookings per daily active user were up slightly from the year-ago period.

The metric is the average amount users pay per day to play games and it’s up 46% in the last quarter from a year earlier.

In July, it fell 5% to 7% year over year, a clear sign of how people are spending less time on its platform.

The company, which listed on the NYSE in March, is reporting its second quarterly results and has yet to make a profit.

“Roblox is suffering from very aggressive market expectation demands, combined with the prospect of continued unprofitability going forward,” said John Patrick Lee, ETF product manager at VanEck.

Its net loss attributable to common shareholders widened to $140.13 million, or 25 cents per share, from $71.5 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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