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Netflix Probably Should Be Bankrupt, Stock Closer To Zero

Stocks in this article: NFLX MSFT INTC AMZN

I'm tired of republishing the publicly available numbers most people choose to ignore, but here's the update, as of Dec. 31. Netflix now counts a whopping $5.6 billion in off-balance sheet streaming content obligations with $2.3 billion due in less than one year. (Data from 8K filed Jan. 29.)

But, yeah sure, Netflix has "sufficient cash." Hastings isn't just an explorer; he must be a magician if he can attach words such as "sufficient" and "adequate" to Netflix's cash situation.

Consider this. At the end of September 2011, Netflix had just $160 million in cash and cash equivalents. In November of that year it orchestrated a $400 million bailout, rehabilitating its hoard to $508 million at the end of 2011. That nest egg dwindled to about $290 million at the end of 2012.

It's deja vu all over again!

Like I have been ranting, Netflix's 2013 (though they might be able to stave things off a bit longer this time) will go down just like its 2011. Short of more bailouts, there's no other way it can go down. The mechanics of the business model Netflix lives and dies by will not change simply because Reed Hastings wants them to or thinks they should.

We're seeing the same red flags at Netflix we saw before the 2011 implosion and cash grab. So yes, I called Netflix to $100, past $100 and see it testing its all-time highs, but don't get comfortable. Not even for a second.

This 'House of Cards' will crash again. All that sustains it is the big money's willingness to let Reed Hastings run around like a kid with his father's credit card.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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