It’s too soon to determine whether Roblox is a winner in the metaverse, according to Cowen. Analyst Doug Creutz initiated coverage of the online game platform with an underperform rating, saying investors should sell the stock as it is currently overvalued. The stock is up more than 38% this quarter. “We view Roblox as a successful video game and entertainment platform with some attractive characteristics, but we believe current valuation far too aggressively factors in a metaverse future that is likely still far away and may arrive in a fashion that leaves Roblox as just one of many players,” Creutz wrote in a Monday note. The firm’s $31 price target is about 31.9% below Friday’s closing price of $45.53 per share. Roblox dipped 2.3% in Monday premarket trading. Shares of Roblox, which made its public debut in a direct listing in March 2021, are off roughly 55% this year and 67% lower than their 52-week high after an initial pop during the pandemic when children spent more time online while stuck indoors. Regardless, the analyst said Roblox faces several challenges for a metaverse future, citing poor economics for content creators, the need to moderate content for its young audience and its use of equity compensation that could encourage employee turnover. “In the near term, Roblox will have to prove it is different from traditional video game companies by demonstrating superior user and revenue growth. Longer term, competition from large tech and entertainment companies is likely to intensify, and Roblox’s lack of owned content IP may become a significant weakness,” the note said. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
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