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I Am Netflix's 'Bitch' and I Want It to Spank Me

That's pretty much what Plepler has been telling me for that last year or so.

I'm done trying to throw cold water on the Netflix story. I've already made enough of a fool of myself referring to off-balance sheet obligations (now north of $7 billion), the need for Netflix to do even more debt financing (another $400 million), feeble free cash flow (now at $5 million) and the reality that Hastings would give his right arm to license HBO programming. He probably blew up even the most remote possibility of that happening (it wasn't going to happen anyway) on Wednesday's conference call.

Anyhow, I like being wrong. Now I know how Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) bears feel. But, more so, it's a humbling experience to do the work and, much to your surprise, not see the story play out the way you thought it would and on your timeline. As much as I want to disagree, TheStreet's Jim Cramer probably said it best in this video. What he's basically saying here is the Netflix story, while in different spaces, really isn't all that different from the Amazon story: 

That's life in this business. Sure I could object to what Jim says. Argue about the notion of opportunity with respect to Netflix in "television" and Amazon in e-commerce. But, seriously, the time really has passed. Though I can still see the turnip truck's brake lights, I know when it makes more sense to live to fight another day. 

I'm the kind of guy who actually appreciates getting taken down a notch from time to time. I have been this way ever since I was a 24-year old, who got fired from the best job he ever had (until now) back in 1999 in Dallas, Texas. So if being Netflix's bitch keeps me humble and makes people tempted to get long the stock on the way to $400 wealthier, I'm all for it. I'll take the spanking and like it.

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

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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