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Can Netflix and Disney Make Amazon Insecure?

Although "the world" seems like a bit of an exaggeration, the rate at which Netflix is pushing towards international expansion suggests the company is indeed trying to conquer the world. But I think Netflix has been spending too much money to do it.

On the other hand, it seems Netflix's revenue have been growing well enough to justify some of these expenses -- but for how long, especially after reporting third-quarter earnings where net income dropped by 90%? Nonetheless, this Disney deal is certainly encouraging news for investors until Netflix can reverse the profitability trend.

The good news is subscriber defections have note only stabilized but are now growing at an impressive rate. During the most recent quarter, the company was able to gain two million streaming members, bringing its worldwide total to 29 million. Likewise, U.S. subscribers grew over 20% year-over-year and now the rate stands at a total of over 25 million.

It's hard not to like this level of growth. However, for the stock to truly work, Netflix will need to start profiting from its large base of subscribers. What's more, Netflix will be paying an estimated $300 million per year to Disney for the streaming rights, so this increases the urgency with which Netflix must operate towards profitability.

Netflix has answered Amazon's Prime challenge. I just don't know yet if it will be enough. For now, it seems the company is executing with the understanding that "if you build it they will come." Netflix is certainly building its infrastructure and customers are indeed coming. However, if they are leaving their wallets at home, what's the point?

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.
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