Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) shot up 54% on the first day of trading after its direct listing. Since then, the gains have been harder to find. RBLX stock did make it as high as $77 per share, but has since come down to around $71.
Gaming has come a long way since my youth. In fact, it’s changed considerably since my children were first getting into gaming. Much of that has to do with the continued advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). This allows gaming to become a community experience.
And it’s only going to become more immersive.
But a site like Roblox is not just controlling the way games are delivered. It has a development community that ensures it has control over the content that is delivered. Roblox has over 8 million developers that have created over 20 million experiences. This lock and key approach shows just how far behind the curve a company like GameStop (NYSE:GME) actually is.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
I’m only being partially tongue in cheek when I refer to Roblox as the company that retail investors wish GameStop was. There’s no doubt that some traders were simply driving up the price of a low-priced stock because they could. However, there is a segment of the retail trading community that believes in the long-term fortunes of GameStop.
That belief comes from the company’s new CEO, Ryan Cohen, who is the co-founder of Chewy (NASDAQ:CHWY). However, my position on GameStop and several of the “meme stocks” is that the company is going to have a difficult time making a pivot to the new world of gaming. Which isn’t really that new at all. That brings me back to Roblox.
A Curated Gaming Experience
After reading an article by InvestorPlace’s Tom Taulli, I see that one of the key strengths of Roblox is the ability for developers to create worlds in which users game. Since the company’s primary audience is tweens and teenagers, the company exceeds regulatory requirements to ensure a safe gaming experience.
The idea of creating a virtual reality gaming worlds isn’t a new concept. My children (older teens and above) have informed me that Roblox is similar to Minecraft. They also, however, mentioned that prior to the pandemic interest in the platform was waning.
However, timing is everything. And the pandemic gave Roblox a boost. According to Roblox, the site has 37.1 million daily active users (DAUs). In 2020 those users spend a total of 30.6 billion hours on the app.
And despite the fact that we’re coming out of the pandemic, Roblox is anticipating strong revenue growth in 2021. It’s hard to argue that Roblox doesn’t represent the future of gaming. But you can still think it’s overvalued.
Institutional Investors Are Becoming Fans
One catalyst for RBLX stock is the endorsement of analysts and institutional investors. Roblox is already reviewed by five analysts in just one month of trading. And the consensus price target suggests that the stock could have an upside of near 15% from its current level. In fact, the lowest price target is $78 per share which would be a gain of just over 10% from the stock’s current level.
Having the big money investors in the stock this early is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it should make the stock less volatile than some newly public companies. On the other hand, if those investors don’t like what they hear in the company’s first earnings report, RBLX stock could fall significantly.
You Can Wait on RBLX Stock
I believe there’s plenty to like about Roblox as a company. But anytime a company starts to trade publicly, it’s fair to wait until it delivers an earnings report or two.
Trust, but verify is never bad advice when you are parenting tweens and teens. And the advice holds up equally well when you’re investing in a company that markets to tweens and teens. Tastes change and sometimes very quickly.
Nevertheless, with the backing of the analyst community, RBLX stock looks to have some upside. It’s not a stock I’m going to jump on right now, but risk tolerant investors may want to grab a small position.
On the date of publication Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for Investor Place since 2019.