FBR Remains Sidelined on Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Ahead of FQ3:16 Print

FBR analyst Barton Crockett provides insight on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) ahead of third-quarter earnings set to be delivered on October 17th, reiterating a Market Perform rating on NFLX with a price target of $90, which represents a 15% downside from where the shares last closed.

Crockett notes, “We assume that Netflix’s 3Q16 will be close to guidance, which seemed to cautiously incorporate the headwinds of elevated churn from the price hike, viewership headwinds from the Olympics, and a larger base in a seasonally slow period. We update our search volume checks, which continue to suggest maturity in developed countries, and offer our own take on merger prospects, which seem more likely to us in later years than now.”

Amid a decline in Google search volumes for Netflix, a tougher fourth-quarter comp indicating less international subscription growth, and the challenge of a “competitive backdrop” as the streaming giant faces off against new packages from DirecTV and Hulu, new direct-to-consumer SVOD offerings from Showtime, CBS, HBO, and Starz, and “big success” over at Amazon Prime with its new SVOD services, the analyst ultimately remains sidelined on NFLX.

“While many consumers will double up with Netflix and other SVOD services, over time we see the expansion of alternatives, in combination with Netflix saturating homes, muting subscriber growth. Similarly, more competition mutes margin potential (a point Netflix has conceded) and we believe also constrains pricing,” Crockett contends.

Additionally, the analyst does not see any evidence to indicate either Disney or Apple are contenders seeking to buy NFLX, let alone that the giant “is up for sale.”

Crockett reduces 2016 estimated adjusted EPS to $0.29 and trims 2017 estimates to $1.28 and 2018 estimates down to $2.35, respectively.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Barton Crockett is ranked #417 out of 4,193 analysts. Crockett has a 54% success rate and realizes 6.8% in his yearly returns. When recommending NFLX, Crockett yields 12.0% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit NFLX as a Buy. Based on 32 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 17 rate a Buy on NFLX, 9 maintain a Hold, while 6 issue a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $108.72, marking a nearly 3% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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