The Ratings Game: Netflix stock set for best day in a year as analysts say subscriber slowdown doesn’t tell the full story


Shares of Netflix Inc. are rocketing toward their best day in more than a year Monday after a pair of analysts said the stock’s selloff had gone too far.

Analysts at Citi Research and Edward Jones both upgraded Netflix’s stock NFLX, +10.54% Monday, writing that the stock looks attractive after a recent pullback. The shares are down nearly 40% over the past three months.

Netflix’s stock is up 9.6% in Monday afternoon trading, during a strong day for technology names. Shares of Netflix are on track for their largest single-day percentage gain since Jan. 20.

While a subscriber slowdown has pressured Netflix’s stock, Edward Jones analyst David Heger expects that investors could come to appreciate the wider scope of the company’s story.

“We have anticipated that as Netflix’s business matures, investors will increasingly value the stock on financial results rather than subscriber growth,” he wrote. “We still expect that Netflix can grow its long term earnings at a double-digit rate as it further expands into international markets.”

That international expansion offers ample opportunities for subscriber growth as well, Heger added. And he likes the company’s overall positioning because he believes Netflix’s investments in content have helped differentiate the service.

He raised his rating on Netflix’s stock to buy from hold.

Opinion: Netflix admits that it is time to grow up, but Wall Street isn’t happy about it

Citi Research’s Jason Bazinet also feels more upbeat about the current setup for Netflix’s stock. While the company could see more “modest” subscriber gains going forward, he thinks that Netflix’s strong pricing power could be a revenue driver.

Bazinet is feeling similarly optimistic about Spotify Technology SA SPOT, +12.84%, which faces the prospect of a subscriber cool-down as well but has room to better monetize its ad-supported offering, in his view. He upgraded both Netflix and Spotify shares to buy from neutral.

Netflix shares have lost 30% over the past month, as Spotify shares have declined 18% and as the S&P 500 SPX, +1.45% has dipped about 6%.

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