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Roku CEO responds to short-seller's tweet about Apple and Samsung

Heidi Chung
Reporter

Roku was off to a good start this year until infamous short-seller Andrew Left’s tweet storm on Tuesday took down the stock, but Roku CEO Anthony Wood shrugged off the Twitter attack.

After initially tweeting on Tuesday morning that Roku stock was “uninvestable” due to the competitive TV partnership between Apple and Samsung, Left deleted the original tweet and replaced it with the following:

Left clarified that he is not currently short the stock, but instead watching from the side. Roku stock closed 3% lower on Tuesday.

When asked about Left’s argument that the Apple and Samsung partnership to allow customers to stream through iTunes on Samsung TVs will hurt Roku, Wood seems unfazed by Left’s argument and hinted that the company would be open to new partnerships. “I think it’s great that Apple is going to be distributing some of their content on platforms besides Apple, and Roku is the leading streaming platform in the U.S. by hours streamed. We’re a huge streaming platform so we’re a national partner for any company that wants to distribute their content to streaming customers,” Wood told Yahoo Finance.

In this May 19, 2014 photo, Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, poses for a portrait at the company's headquarters in Saratoga, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Potential partnerships aren’t the only opportunities that Wood sees on the horizon.

The streaming company announced early viewership numbers on Monday that crushed analysts’ expectations. Roku hit 27 million active streaming accounts in Q4 of 2018, and that sent the stock soaring 25% during Monday’s trading session.

In addition to hitting 27 million active streaming accounts, Wood said that Roku had more exciting news that it announced at the CES conference in Las Vegas. Roku is also working on upgrading from 4K TVs to 8K TVs and new premium options are available on the Roku channel.

“We’ve been adding more and more content, so now we’re up to 10,000 movies and TV shows on the Roku channel, and we’re adding different business models. Free is obviously still very important to us, but now we’re adding premium content [such as Showtime and Epix],” Wood said. “The goal of the Roku channel is to bring as much content as we can into one spot with great recommendations.”

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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