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NFLX Longs: Don't Wind Up Like AAPL Bagholders

Stocks in this article: NFLX AMCX AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- That's Richard Tullo of Albert Fried. Easily one of the best analysts on Wall Street, particularly because he doesn't talk over people's heads and, from both short- and long-term perspectives he has been more right than wrong on Netflix (NFLX).

For more than two years now, Tullo's research and insight has helped inform my bearish view on the company.

That doesn't mean we always agree. Tullo makes the case for AMC Networks (AMCX) to take out Netflix. Somewhat logical, I guess, but I don't see the need for anybody to wade into the mess that is Netflix.

And it is a mess. I get into reasons why regularly here on TheStreet. I also touched on them this past Friday in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "The Lead."

Dig the conversation, from CNN New York inside the awesome Time Warner building adjacent to Columbus Circle in Manhattan, then, take it or leave it, as I boil things down to a handful of links and points to support continued NFLX bearishness.

Four billion viewing hours in a quarter. That sounds great. And it gets media outlets beyond those that focus on finance talking about you. But it's that very wide-ranging cultural buzz that ultimately dooms overzealous NFLX longs.

Love the service. Ride this wave in the stock. No doubt. But be careful. Get ready to bail on the first sign of implosion or you'll wind up like Apple (AAPL) shareholders who dug in (and, quite possibly, doubled down) at $700 and either lost money, saw considerable profits slip away or remain long with loads of uncertainty and anxiety.

This is no joke. You have a front row seat to what will end up resembling a reply of the ugliness Netflix put people through in 2011. I set the table - point-by-point - in the following three columns:

  • Reed Hastings Will Talk Jive At Netflix's Bankruptcy Hearing (3/14/2013)
  • Reed Hastings Hypnotizes Wall St. Analysts (3/28/2013)
  • Netflix: Riding a Death Spiral to Insolvency (4/01/2013)

    Billions in financial obligations -- on and off balance sheet. Dwindling cash reserves that only get propped up by what amount to bailouts. An unsustainable business model that relies on third party content. And, maybe most importantly, ultimate reliance on what is little more than a long-shot at success with original programming.

    Netflix woos Wall Street with talk of subscriber numbers and viewer hours. That's dangerous. And it's equally as dangerous to blow people like me off as the stock rises. We saw the same scenario play out in 2011 before all hell broke loose.

    -- 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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