Investors in Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) should be smiling from ear to ear today after the streaming platform released strong third-quarter results yesterday evening, beating expectations across the board, with subscriber growth ahead of guidance and expectations.
In the wake of the earnings announcement, Netflix shares jumped nearly 19% to $118.55 in pre-market trading Tuesday.
Overall, for the third quarter, Netflix reported profit of $51.5 million, or 12 cents a share, up from $29.4 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $2.29 billion from $1.74 billion in the year-ago quarter, slightly above Street estimates, while GAAP EPS of $0.12 handily beat Street expectations of $0.04.
Netflix’s report of 3.57 million new streaming subscribers globally, which brings its total customer base to about 83 million paid users.
Cantor analyst Youssef Squali commented, “In a nail-biting quarter in which a sizeable percentage of subscribers saw a price hike, and the Olympics and the US elections competed for consumer attention, Netflix reported stronger-than-expected 3Q results, showing that accelerating rollout of originals worldwide, coupled with a massive int’l expansion and localization of content are helping fuel strong growth Y/Y. Netflix remains one of the toughest Internet stocks to call quarter-to-quarter, but despite short-term volatility, its long-term opportunity remains substantial and worthy of investment, in our view. We believe there is more runway ahead as the US matures and reached 40%+ contribution margin, while international continues to grow at double digits and improves profitability over time.”
On the ratings front, Netflix has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne maintained a Buy rating on NFLX, with a price target of $130, which represents a potential upside of 30% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, Goldman Sachs’ Heath Terry maintained a Hold rating on the stock today and has a price target of $140.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Benjamin Swinburne and Heath Terry have a total average return of 9.3% and 20.7% respectively. Swinburne has a success rate of 62% and is ranked #490 out of 4180 analysts, while Terry has a success rate of 65% and is ranked #55.
The street is mostly Bullish on NFLX stock. Out of 34 analysts who cover the stock, 17 suggest a Buy rating , 10 suggest a Hold and 7 recommend to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $106.00, which represents a potential upside of 6% from where the stock is currently trading.
Netflix, Inc. operates as an Internet subscription service company, which provides subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by mail. The company operates its business through the following segments: Domestic streaming, International streaming and Domestic DVD. Netflix obtains content from various studios and other content providers through fixed-fee licenses, revenue sharing agreements and direct purchases. It markets its service through various channels, including online advertising, broad-based media, such as television and radio, as well as various partnerships.