To contextualize that price, Netflix, which has an admittedly ample balance sheet, still carried just $350 million of cash and equivalents at fourth quarter's end and $236 million of debt. That cash could easily be depleted in order to ink just one or two new deals for online content. Morningstar forecasts 18% average annual growth over the next five years and a subscriber base of 40 million for Netflix by 2015. Still, it believes the operating margin will stagnate, or perhaps, decline from just over 13% and sees heightened competition.

Morningstar's fair-value estimate, at $110, suggests that Netflix's stock could drop 51%. It awards Netflix a one-star rating out of a possible five and a "high uncertainty" ranking. Buyers, beware.

-- Written by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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