Analysts mostly re-iterated their positive evaluations of the streaming video giant, despite the company guiding for second-quarter paid net subscriber adds of 5 million, below a consensus estimate of about 5.5 million, as U.S. customers adjust to the recent price hike.
Netflix shares initially were down after the company released its first-quarter report after the close on Tuesday, but by Wednesday morning, share were up 2.6% in pre-market trading, but only rose slightly to $359.34.
Here's what the analysts said:
RBC Capital Markets, Outperform, $480 PT
RBC's Mark Mahaney wrote "Global Paid Sub Growth is still on track to accelerate year-over-year. Management remains confident in recent U.S. pricing increase. AND NFLX still has premium Revenue growth and Operating Margin expansion. Long-Term Buy thesis FULLY intact."
Stifel, Buy, PT Raised From $400 to $425
Stifel's Scot Devitt wrote that "Importantly, the company sees 2019 paid net adds exceeding the +28.615mm adds in 2018. The company did bring 2019 FCF burn expectations down to - $3.5B, though the drivers (higher near-term cash taxes and real estate acquisitions, not content-related) should not set the company back from FCF improvement in 2020 and FCF profitability in several years (we expect 2021). We are moderately increasing our 2019 and long-term subscriber estimates and our Price Target rises to $425. We reiterate our Buy rating."
Cowen, Outperform, $455 PT
Cowen analyst John Blackledge writes that "NFLX's guidance for 2Q19 US paid net sub adds was 300K vs. our 800K est. and consensus of ~680K, which in our view is not that disappointing given the recent US pricing increase (Jan '19); mgmt called out modestly higher churn short term as the price hike is phased in." Management did note the short-term subscriber churn, which seems to be having minimal impact on long-term estimates.
Wedbush, Underperform, $183 PT
Long-time Netflix bear Michael Pachter said, "Netflix is about to lose a significant portion of its most popular content, and this content migration is happening on the heels of a relatively large price increase. With the recent announcement of Disney+ and the impending rollouts of similar services from AT&T and Comcast, it is highly likely that content from all three companies will disappear from the Netflix platform by the end of 2020."