Netflix still holds a plenty of upside potential despite a dismal second quarter, says Rich Greenfield, one of Wall Street’s most closely followed media analysts.
“It’s had its volatility, but where is the business going? People are cutting the cord,” suggesting a major secular tailwind for the streaming giant in the years ahead, said the BTIG analyst on CNBC’s Fast Money.
Shaky numbers not enough to derail long-term growth
Greenfield also stated that competition concerns may be overstated.
“When you cut $80 down to $40 or even to nothing, there’s a lot of money to go around that you’re going to spend on HBO Go, that you’re going to spend on Hulu, that you’re going to spend on Netflix,” the analyst said.
Greenfield, however, reduced his price target for the streaming giant to $130 from $150 in a nod to the potential headwinds. The analyst maintained his Buy rating though. According to Greenfield, a cut in the projected price came as they lowered their subscriber targets, which was reasonable given the size of the miss.
Netflix has indeed failed to meet expectations for domestic and international user growth. The video streaming giant only gained 1.7 million subscribers globally, whereas the service was expecting 2.5 million. Only 160,000 subscribers signed up in the U.S., whereas the company expected 532,000 new subscribers.
However, the shaky sign-up numbers are not enough to derail long-term global growth, believes Greenfield. In his most recent coverage letter, Greenfield said that quarterly subscriber volatility is nothing new to the video streaming giant, nor are management excuses that are frequently difficult to digest.
Netflix CEO unable to assuage investors
During the earnings call on Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tried to reassure investors and analysts that the company is still growing but not as fast as they would like it to or as fast as it has grown in the recent past.
“Disrupting a big market can be bumpy, but the opportunity ahead is as big as ever,” the CEO said.
However, investors were not satisfied with the message, nor did their fear disappear. On Tuesday, the streaming giant had its worst day since 2014 as its shares declined 14%.
Greenfield remains undeterred on Netflix’s potential as the top streaming service in the world despite increased development costs and low subscriber numbers.
The analyst wrote, “Despite the continued subscriber volatility vs. investor expectations, the question remains, is Netflix poised for meaningful global growth over the next several years? We remain confident they are.”
On Wednesday, Netflix shares closed up 2.41% at $87.91. Year to date, the stock is down almost 25%, while in the last year, it is down more than 23%.