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Netflix’s stock hit an all-time high Tuesday after Wall Street lauded its better-than-expected second-quarter financials and subscriber growth, which the streaming video giant had reported after the market close Monday, lauding a strong lineup of original content.
Netflix shares traded up 10.7 percent at $178.92 after earlier going as high as $185. That gave the company a market value of $77.1 billion, according to CNBC. In comparison, Walt Disney’s market capitalization early Tuesday stood at $164.3 billion, Time Warner’s at $76.9 billion, CBS Corp.’s at $28.3 billion and Apple’s at $778.0 billion.
Netflix, led by CEO Reed Hastings, added 5.2 million subscribers in the latest quarter, compared with a Wall Street consensus expectation of 3.2 million, blowing earnings estimates out of the water.
Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger, who has an “outperform” rating on Netflix’s stock, boosted his price target to $203. If the company hits its subscriber growth target for the current quarter, 4.4 million, that would bring total gains in the first three quarters of 2017 to 14.6 million, he wrote.
“To put this in context –- even if Netflix falls short of third-quarter guidance, they will certainly bypass 12 million net adds first quarter through third quarter, meaning Netflix will have added more paying subscribers in the first nine months of 2017 (at a higher average revenue per user) than Hulu has in its entire seven-plus year existence,” the analyst wrote. “Also, Netflix added about the same number of subs in the second quarter as the OTT services of HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access have accumulated in their lifetimes.”
Juenger’s conclusion: “To us, this drives home the heart of our thesis: a) the subscriber potential of Netflix, especially outside the U.S., is much bigger than what is discounted into the stock; and b) the scale advantage of Netflix relative to other so-called competitors is huge.”
Guggenheim Securities analyst Michael Morris on Tuesday also boosted his price target on Netflix’s stock by $10 to $190 and continues to have a “buy” rating on it. “The international growth opportunity remains the most impactful component of our long-term bull thesis on Netflix,” he wrote in a report.
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