A handful of Wall Street analysts lowered their price targets on Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report following its major subscriber miss for the second quarter. But they remained bullish overall on the streaming giant.
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On Wednesday after the close, Netflix beat earnings per share expectations and posted revenue that narrowly missed expectations. But more significantly, the company said it added just 2.7 million total subscribers, against estimates of 5 million, including a loss of 130,000 domestic subscribers. This comes after Netflix began steadily raising subscription prices globally, while Disney (DIS) - Get Report and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report ramp up their own streaming businesses.
Shares of Netflix plummeted 10.6% to $323.59 on Thursday morning.
Here's what Wall Street had to say:
Stifel, Buy, Price Target Lowered to $400 From $425
"With a likely louder market narrative around competition leading up to the November 12th Disney+ launch in the U.S., Netflix shares may be range bound until the next meaningful catalyst, 3Q earnings. At that time, Netflix will have to prove, as it has done many times, that its value proposition remains one of the best on the net," Stifel's Scott Devitt wrote in a note. "Our 2019 / 2020 total paid net sub estimates decrease to 168mm/195mm from 169mm and 197mm previously."
Devitt lowered his 2019 and 2020 revenue estimates to $20.24 billion and $25.46 billion respectively, from $20.27 billion and $25.51. He also lowered EPS expectations to $3.21 in 2019 from $3.35.
RBC Capital Markets, Outperform, Price Target Lowered to $450 From $480
"Q2 Subs came in materially light, due to a weak new content slate & some price hike pushback," RBC's Mark Mahaney wrote in a note. "We believe the Long Thesis is intact, though we are incrementally less bullish."
On the positive side, Mahaney noted Netflix is "Marching up operating Margins - NFLX reiterated its 13% GAAP Op Margin target for '19 (vs. 10% in '18 and 7% in '17)."
Morgan Stanley, Overweight, Price Target $450
"Did the world change in the last three months? We do not believe it did," wrote analyst Benjamin Swinburne in a note.
"First, in the last three years, Netflix has missed its quarterly net additions once a year, so 2Q19 may prove to be 2019's only miss. Second, in two of the three years, that miss was a 2Q seasonally light TV viewing quarter in general and one that tends to be light on big content releases as well."
Goldman Sachs, Buy, Price Target Lowered to $420 From $460
"Our 12-month price target goes to $420 from $460, based on 38x 2020E EV/EBITDA (40x prior), reflecting slower growth expectations," analyst Heath Terry wrote.
But Terry noted that "the correlation between content spend and subscriber net adds actually ticked up modestly similar to 2Q18's subscriber miss, and we expect that the benefits from substantially higher content spend over the back half of the year will drive higher global net adds vs. 2H18. As Netflix's content investments, distribution partnerships and marketing spend drive subscriber growth significantly above consensus expectations and the company approaches an inflection point in cash profitability, we continue to believe shares of NFLX will significantly outperform."
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