It seems the price target battle for Netflix continues with another increase, this time from UBS analysts. In June and July, the streaming video giant received a flood of price target increases, and now UBS’ increase follows close behind another from Raymond James.
UBS’ target increase comes despite the fact that they see Netflix shares as being “very expensive” because of the losses associated with the company’s international launches. The question now is whether a string of firms will follow suit again like they did just a couple of months ago.
Netflix price target to $143
UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson and his team increased their target for Netflix by 23% from $116 to an incredible $143 per share. Interestingly, shares of Netflix tumbled today in early trading, falling as much as 5.5% to $115.34 per share. This seems to be related to the market in general rather than any news specifically about Netflix, as shares of other tech stocks like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon also slumped today.
Mitchelson said he increased his price target because they raised their long term revenue estimates for Netflix and rolled toward 2016. They upped their revenue estimates because they expect the company to successfully monetize international markets, going beyond monthly subscription fees.
Netflix to benefit from bundling
They suggest that bundling or third-party promotion could increase the company’s revenue. They don’t mention commercials, which is good because one of the things Netflix users especially like is the lack of commercials.
Indeed, the streaming video provider is already benefiting from bundling, as T-Mobile began offering a year of Netflix free with a mobile subscription. Also Netflix’s service has been bundled with those of other broadband service providers in some international markets, including Australia, where the company has become so popular so quickly that it has already driven a domestic competitor out of business.
The UBS team suggests that Netflix could become “one of the standard promotional tools” like free trials of HBO, Showtime and Starz because of its low price. They also see integrating the company’s content into cable boxes as “an intriguing opportunity” but admit that this is a problem because Netflix has no control over viewers.
Netflix to $199?
Mitchelson even suggests that Netflix shares could climb as high as $199 per share in the most bullish scenario. His target of $143 per share already assumes that the company continues to exceed estimates. He sees the downside scenario as being a dreadful $55 per share. He said this dreary scenario assumes that Hollywood starts restricting content licensing to over-the-top, non-Netflix-like services in an attempt to keep such services from growing and help pay-TV keep a stranglehold on video content consumption behaviors.