From there, the gloves came off. Simply put, I wasn't about to let another condescending Wall Street analyst slide and continue to "build his case" (something these guys should absolutely not be doing) if he was going to chronically leave key points out of his MBA-like analysis.
Given the time constraints on CNBC, I had no choice but to interrupt the guy. If we had a half hour or I had my own show, I would not have. But, having seen Crockett and other NFLX bulls on CNBC before, I knew he wasn't going to bring up items such as:Netflix's need to raise to cash twice over the last two years
And he sure as hell wasn't going to provide viewers with a clear definition of margins with respect to Netflix. Because if he discussed what contribution profit and margin is (I do in the video), he seriously hurts his bull case. And that's exactly where the problem lies. While I don't think Barton Crockett or any other Wall Street analyst for that matter purposely misleads people, there's a reasonable chance that that's the end result. Because when your primary concern is building your case -- bullish or bearish -- you would be an idiot to bring up the various bullet points I raise, particularly if you do not have a suitable counterargument. Now, in fairness, Crockett gives Netflix a more thorough treatment in the notes that go out to his clients (I assume). Those notes read more like research papers with an outline of alternative arguments and what could derail the bull case. However, Crockett knows as well as I that those sections never make it to print or to air. The sad part about it is that there are valid arguments Crockett and others can make in opposition to my points about off-balance sheet obligations, churn, viewership, the cash raises and, as Kelly Evans did, Netflix vs. HBO. But if you don't willingly bring these things up, that part of the discourse rarely, if ever, takes place. And that's a disservice. To viewers. To investors. To thinking humans. I expected a negative response to my handling of the discussion. Because I even cringe at such fiery displays of, let's face it, rudeness. But I felt it was the appropriate time and place, particularly when you consider where Crockett did (and didn't) take the conversation. And, based on the response I have received from all corners (readers, viewers, a Wall Street analyst and many fellow print and television media members), more people than I thought appreciate my approach. In fact, the most common reaction I'm receiving via email and on Twitter goes something like this: Thanks for doing that. We're tired of Wall Street analysts. We don't trust 'em as far as we can throw them. I'm willing to, someday, be wrong about Netflix the company. As I said at the outset of this article, it's not about being right or wrong. Being wrong doesn't scare me. I'm more secure in my work than that. I will continue to separate the company from the stock. And, even though you might accuse me of building a straw man, I will outline the bull case for the company to concurrently expose it and give it its due, but also to set up my contention that there's more to the company's story than an epic run to $300 by the stock. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
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