SunTrust analysts lowered their price target on the group by around 13% -- from $410 to $355 per share -- but kept their "buy" rating in place, as it trimmed estimates for new domestic and international subscriber additions for the three months ending in December. SunTrust sees global additions in the region of 8.65 million, compared to Netflix's estimate of around 9.4 million, and noted that new market rivals, such as Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report , Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report and AT&T (T) - Get Report could challenge the group's business model later this year.
That said, SunTrust said it will maintain its "buy" rating "despite near-term subs adds tracking soft (we're watching for December data), with the content slate set to strengthen into mid-year including Stranger Things (we watch for tactical price increases into the strengthening content slate)."
"Beyond this, we believe the company still has optionality around pricing (lower and higher, depending on market), distribution/partnerships, box office, merchandising, product placement, and licensing out content." wrote analysts Matthew Thornton and Youssef Saquali.
Netflix shares fell 1.1% to $264.72.
The stock was further influenced by a report from Reuters that suggested ousted Activision Blizzard (ATVI) - Get Report CFO Spencer Neumann, who was fired by the gaming group earlier this week, would take up the same role at Netflix later this month following the departure of David Wells.
Netflix later confirmed it was in fact naming Neumann as its new finance chief.
"We would view the hire favorably, as Neumann has public CFO experience at a large global consumer tech/entertainment company, with leverage on the balance sheet and subscription revenue, and is fairly well-known and liked by investors," SunTrust wrote.
Activision, for its part, named Dennis Durkin as Neumann's CFO replacement Wednesday, reprising a role he held at the company between 2012 and 2017.
"Dennis is a leader with unimpeachable integrity and exemplary character who displays impeccable judgment. He is a seasoned leader known for driving financial and operational excellence. We missed having him in a more day-to-day operational and financial role and are glad to have him back as CFO," said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.