Tim Brown: Start With Netflix - TheStreet

The National Football League season officially kicked off Thursday with the New York Giants, the defending Super Bowl champs, knocking off division rival Washington. And prior to the game, Big Blue signed Eli Manning's favorite target, Plaxico Burress, to a new five-year, $35 million contract. The deal gives Plax $11 million in the first year.

There were a number of questions going into the regular season about the Giants defense with the retirement of Michael Strahan and the season-ending knee injury to star defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Those two were responsible for 22 sacks last season. The rest of the defense may not be as flashy, but should be very solid.

The Giants won 16-7 on a 1-yard touchdown run by QB Eli Manning and three field goals by John Carney.

That's a solid opening day for the Giants on and off the field. It's a good way to ensure things start off on the right foot.

One way I think you can lay the groundwork for a successful season is to pick up some shares of

Netflix

(NFLX) - Get Report

.

Stocks Friday are getting smacked around following bad news on the labor front. The U.S. unemployment rate hit 6.1% in August, the highest it's been in almost five years. About 84,000 jobs were lost during the month. That's a pretty big jump from the 75,000 that was predicted. The data for June and July were revised to show more jobs were lost. In fact, the numbers for June rose to 100,000 from 51,000. The unexpected news sent investors straight for the exits early, but midday the market is paring its losses.

With this backdrop, I feel especially confident I am getting Netflix at a great price. For those of you not familiar with Netflix, the company essentially offers home movie rental packages. You go online and select DVDs you want to watch and Netflix sends them to you in the mail. When you are done, you drop them back in the mail in a postage-paid envelope. Depending on the subscription package, you can get three, four or more movies at a time. And when you are done watching, Netflix sends you more. Subscriptions range from $4.99 a month and up. The company says it has 100,000 titles for rent from its catalog.

The stock is really attractive at its current price. It is trading around midday at $29.48, off 1.3%. The stock is up about 12% for the year. It's up from its low of $17.07 in September 2007. Its highest point in the last year is $40.90.

The stock's return on equity is more than 17%, and it has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 18.61. That's not terribly low, but it is within a range that I am comfortable with thinking I'm getting the stock at a good value. The company has revenue of $1.26 billion, $319 million in operating income, and $313 million in the bank. The company has very little debt and is in a business that I think will continue to grow.

In addition, while the DVD business model is working well, the company also is pushing into Internet downloads of movies to prepare for the day when the general public demands its movies that way.

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.