The shares of Netflix are trading higher after UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson issued a bullish comment, upgrade his rating and raised his price target for the company.
The stock price of the online video streaming company was up more than 6% to $482.53 per share at the time of this writing around 12:23 in the afternoon in New York.
Analysts are bullish on Netflix
Mitchelson upgraded his stock rating for Netflix from Neutral to Buy. He also increased his price target from $370 to $565 per share, a 19% upside for the current trading price of the stock.
In a note to investors, Mitchelson expressed confidence in the ability of Netflix to expand its subscribers overseas. He also noted that the online video streaming company has sufficient scale to withstand any “irrational behavior” by content providers and competitors.
“Despite growing concerns media studios/networks will start pulling back from selling content to Netflix, after reviewing the media landscape, including discussions with each of our media companies over time, we firmly believe Netflix will sustain sufficient access to content,” said Mitchelson.
The analyst believed that Netflix will be able to double the number of its subscribers internationally by 2020 as the number of households overseas with broadband access will continue to increase rapidly.
Netflix reported it had 18 million international subscribers in the fourth quarter. The number grew 67% year-over-year.
Mitchelson believed that Netflix has more potential subscribers abroad, and its international margins are expected to be higher than its domestic margins by 2020. The company will continue to drive people abandon cable TV despite the growth of other on-demand services, and it is expected to increase its spending on content by 100%. He also predicted that Netflix will penetrate 600 million homes with broadband by 2020.
Last week, Citibank analyst May upgraded his rating for Netflix to Buy and raised his price target to $525 per share due to its potential expansion overseas. He perceived upside scenarios north of $750.
May said, “We believe the risk/reward trade-off is favorable at current levels, and we remain bullish on the company’s long-term opportunity to build a leading global OTT video service with an opportunity to attract more than 150 million paying subscribers worldwide over time.”
Netflix hints stock split
In a regulatory filing, Netflix hinted its intention for a stock split. The company is seeking shareholders’ approval to amend its Certificate of Incorporation to increase the number of shares of capital stock from 170 million (160 million shares of common stock and 10 million shares of preferred stock) to 5 billion shares (4.99 billion shares of common stock and 10 million shares of preferred stock).