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2 Reasons To Stay Away From Netflix Stock

We present two good reasons to be cautious about Netflix– and whether MavenFlix has given up its bullish stance on the stock.

Netflix stock  (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. Report has appreciated nearly 25% since the start of 2021, climbing from $522 in January to $651 in November. Given the sizable move in less than a year, some investors may start to question whether Netflix is ​​overvalued.

Figure 1: Netflix logo in a notebook.

Figure 1: Netflix logo in a notebook.

At MavenFlix, we are generally bullish on NFLX for the long term. However, today we identify a couple of key risks or yellow flags that investors should pay attention to before investing in the company.

(Read more from MavenFlix: Disney Stock: What Wall Street Says Ahead Of Earnings)

#1. High content expenses

One of the most common concerns over Netflix and its business model is content development costs. To attract more users, the streaming company needs to keep refreshing its massive title catalog. Much of Netflix’s content is exclusive, one way that the company has found to differentiate from competitors.

Figure 2: Netlfix' content spending.

Figure 2: Netlfix' content spending.

Recently, Netflix has spent billions of dollars producing its own content, which has likely helped to drive a healthy increase in the total numbers of subscribers. However, some believe that this could be a race to the bottom, as streaming companies outbid each other for the best content available.

Some Wall Street analysts consider rising production expenses unsustainable. To meet these costs, streaming companies like Netflix need to keep plowing cash back into the business, leaving little for shareholders to justify the stock’s rich valuations.

One way to address this issue is to produce cheaper shows like Squid Game that still drive worldwide engagement and revenues. Of course, releasing killer content that is inexpensive to make is much easier said than done.

#2. Slowdown in 2022

In the past decade, Netflix’s subscriber number has risen exponentially (see chart below). However, the ramp up may not last very long – at least not at the dizzying historical pace. During 2020, Netflix acquired around 30 million new active users, a phenomenon that has been partially credited to the COVID-19 crisis and stay-at-home habits. A year later, Netflix finds itself in a different environment.

Consumers have been spending less time at home and, consequently, watching less streaming content. The time spent on these platforms is expected to decrease further in 2022. Therefore, Netflix’s next few earnings seasons could be marked by a slowdown in the number of subscribers – which would likely impact not only the P&L and key operating metrics, but also investor sentiment.

Figure 3: Netflix paying streaming subscribers, millions.

Figure 3: Netflix paying streaming subscribers, millions.

(Read more from MavenFlix: Netflix Stock: 3 Metrics To Watch In November)

Our Take

In our view, Netflix should ultimately thrive in a subsector of technology and media that has compelling long-term prospects. The question that investors need to answer is: how comfortable are they with a current-year earnings multiple of 60 times, particularly during a period of rising content costs and cyclical slowdown in subscriber growth?

Twitter speaks

(1) Rising content costs, (2) a post-COVID slowdown in subscriber growth and (3) a stock that trades near all-time highs are three good reasons to stay away from Netflix stock. Which of these three concern you most?

Is the price right?

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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting MavenFlix)