Shares of Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report , the online video streaming service, rose to a monthly high yesterday, following a day of positive news about the company. Analysts are upping their estimates for the stock, led by Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital Markets, who opined that Netflix subscriptions could grow from the current 81.5 million global members to 180 million by 2020. In a note to investors, Mahaney forecast that the stock could rise as much as $200 -- more than double its current price -- within four years.
But other news out of Netflix is also bolstering the stock price and consumers' opinion of the service. And this deal is making the service look like an even more appealing investment play.
Back in 2012, Netflix signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report that would make the company the sole video streaming outlet for new theatrical releases. For viewing favorites such as Disney's Princess franchise to Star Wars, to Pixar Studios films to Marvel, viewers would turn not to competitor Amazon and its Prime video streaming service, but to a Netflix subscription.
But four years have passed, and we haven't seen much movement with the deal -- until now. Monday Netflix announced that it will become the exclusive streaming home of Disney as early as this September.
"From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar," wrote Netflix's content chief, Ted Sarandos.
All Disney theatrical releases from 2016 and onward will be included in the agreements, which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. That includes blockbusters like Captain America: Civil War and The Jungle Book, upcoming Pixar features such as Finding Dory, and the next movies in the Star Wars franchise.
This is all part of Netflix's aim to become an online provider of exclusive and unique content. Already, the company's self-produced programs such as Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards have swept both ratings and critical opinion. Becoming the exclusive online distributor for new Disney content is another reason for subscribers to join up and stay loyal.
By making licensing deals with Disney and other studios, Netflix is giving itself a big advantage over Amazon, Hulu, and other competitors. To view new, acclaimed releases at home, viewers will have no choice but to purchase and maintain Netflix subscriptions.
Moves like this are how Netflix is going to reach that $200 per share in the next few years. And with its stock price still under $100, now is a terrific opportunity to get in before the big gains are made.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.