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TheStreet Open House

Don't Turn Off Netflix

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's always plenty of drama with Netflix (NFLX).

It's common knowledge the company, which started as a DVD-by-mail model, has pioneered new ways for consumers to receive movies and TV shows via its streaming technology. But many are unaware that it was Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO, who, by posting on his personal Facebook (FB) page, forced the hands of the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt social media as a legitimate outlet for corporate disclosures.

Like him or hate him, Hastings is good for Netflix and he's good for the stock market. There's never a dull moment. But does that mean the company, which many are struggling to love, is still a good long-term buy for investors? On Monday, these questions were once again raised.

Netflix, which I've once described as having had more lives than "24's" Jack Bauer, experienced another brutal episode during the after-hour session Monday, down by as much as 8% following what was (on balance) an excellent second-quarter earnings report. Investors were turning off Netflix even though the company beat profit estimates, while revenue were in line with Street projections. Guidance, however, didn't make the cut. But I wouldn't get carried away just yet.

The company reported 49 cents in earnings per share on revenue of $1.07 billion. These results blew last year's marks out of the water when Netflix reported profits of 11 cents per share on revenue of $889 million. Essentially, not only has Netflix grown revenue 20% year over year, but EPS has spiked more than 300%. What's more, the company beat the consensus EPS estimate by 22%.

Hastings has been able to grow the company despite all of the threats that pundits are quick to toss at him including Amazon's (AMZN) Prime, Time Warner's (TWX) HBOGo and Hulu. That Netflix has been able to string two consecutive quarters of impressive growth should now dispel concerns about the company's ability to execute.

The company's "grow at all cost" concept makes it hard for "traditionalists" to fully embrace the stock -- I get that. But these same pundits don't seem to mind raising the pom-poms for Amazon, which embraces similar ideals of "If you build it, they will come."

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