William Blair Comments on Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Amid Investor Concerns Regarding Net-Neutrality Post-Election

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares have recently been on a dip in a post-election haze, which William Blair analyst Ralph Schackart attributes partially to rising “net-neutrality fears and likely part of a broader, large-cap tech portfolio rebalancing.”

Nonetheless, the analyst remains undeterred, deeming these prospective net-neutrality changes “likely a nonevent.” Though Schackart acknowledges investor concerns, he reiterates an Outperform rating on NFLX with a base case valuation methodology that suggests a mid-$140s stock price, with a bull case of $185 that he notes “may also be achievable if the business continues to post stronger-than-expected revenue growth with improving profitability.”

Mainly, the analyst wishes to address, “The key point of our note is that Netflix already has paying arrangements in place with the major ISPs in the United States. Any potential reversal of net-neutrality rules by the FCC would not supersede agreements that are already established, to the best of our knowledge. Hence, we believe the net-neutrality fears are overblown.”

From the analyst’s standpoint, a net-neutrality regulations reversal would sustain “little to no” impact on the online streaming giant.

Ultimately, “We remain long-term believers in Netflix’s original content strategy, the inevitable shift to OTT streaming, and Netflix’s ability to grow revenue faster than content costs,” Shackart contends.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, four-star analyst Ralph Schackart is ranked #513 out of 4,229 analysts. Schackart has a 60% success rate and garners 19.2% in his yearly returns. When recommending NFLX, Schackart gains 20.8% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit NFLX as a Buy. Based on 37 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 19 rate a Buy on NFLX, 11 maintain a Hold, while 7 issue a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $123.97, marking a nearly 8% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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