Third, the company, while spending far more than it had, was thought to be incapable of raising the money that it needed to survive. But these are more bountiful times than analysts realize. In a sense, Netflix was still one more company bailed out by the hated Ben Bernanke, who is supposed to be more like a European central banker and make money tight to appease the ideologues, even as the discrediting of austerity is a daily event.
Fourth, analysts and hedge funds are simply not believers that content can ever move a needle. They forget that HBO, the model they love that will soon be pushed behind by Netflix's accelerating growth, grew on the back of "The Sopranos" the way "House of Cards" spurred Netflix. It's not supposed to happen, but it did.
Fifth, analysts didn't see the symbiosis with the new kind of television profit center, the long-form arc series, where you can't just crack into it. You need to start from the beginning, and Netflix is riding the success of everything from "Breaking Bad" and the "The Walking Dead" to "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey." It doesn't hurt that the programming crosses all ages and can be watched in binge fashion.
Finally, the rich people who are analysts don't understand the new frugality -- that folks don't want to pay for cable or for Amazon or iTunes. Netflix is their bargain.All of these cut in favor of the Netflix bulls and eviscerated the Netflix bears at precisely the time when the bears were supposed to win. It's a textbook failure of typical security analysis, and it's the handiwork of a brilliant exec, Reed Hastings. Oh, and one more thing: Maybe now, as a $12 billion company, Netflix will at last be seen as the potential growth engine acquisition for Microsoft (MSFT) or Apple, although the former is too go-it-alone and the latter is just too arrogant to ever figure it out. Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, has a position in AAPL.
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