Netflix, Inc. Earnings Preview: Price Target Cut

Netflix, Inc. Earnings Preview: Price Target Cut

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is set to release its second quarter earnings report on Monday after closing bell, and the company has received another price target cut ahead of the print. UBS slashed its target about a week after Jefferies cut its target. Analysts will be watching subscriber trends, and one key weak area some have identified for Netflix is mobile.

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Netflix’s subscriber trends in focus

Wall Street expects $2.11 billion in revenue and earnings of 2 cents per share. Netflix guided for 500,000 net domestic adds and 2 million net international adds, amounting to $1.96 billion in streaming revenue with a 16.4% contribution margin and earnings of 2 cents per share.

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Dougherty & Company analyst Steven Frankel doesn’t expect much “controversy” in next week’s print, especially because he believes the subscriber targets are conservative. He believes investors will be more focused on management’s third quarter guidance as the company is expected to be battered by outside factors such as Brexit and the Olympics. As a result, he believes the international subscriber guidance could be lower than the 2.7 million the company added last year, but he added that how much lower it ends up being will “determine where the stock goes from here.”

Frankel rates the video streaming company’s stock at Neutral.

UBS slashes Netflix price target ahead of earnings

UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson slashed his price target for Netflix from $141 to $130 per share in a report dated July 12, although he maintained his Buy rating on the stock. He pointed to analysis from the UBS Evidence Lab of Netflix app downloads for the second quarter which implies that demand in southern Europe, France and Germany was soft, although it was consistent elsewhere. The Americas and Nordic region remained strong areas for the company, while trends in the U.K., Australia and Japan were stable.

He believes the setup for Netflix’s second quarter is more favorable than it has been in past recent quarters as sentiment has shifted toward the bearish end of the spectrum. He doesn’t expect the bear case to face, however, unless the company is able to surprise significantly to the upside in terms of subscriber adds.

Netflix must focus on mobile

Mitchelson wasn’t the only one to look at mobile data for Netflix as an indicator of demand. Verto Analytics shared some data with ValueWalk this morning which indicated that the company still has a large proportion of PC users compared to mobile device users. The firm found that 60.3 million users access Netflix on a PC in June, while only 29 million used a smartphone and 17.8 million used a tablet. Verto’s founder sees a red flag here.

“Netflix still has three times more users on PCs vs. tablets, and twice as many PC users as smartphone users,” explained Verto Analytics Founder and CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo. “For Netflix to turn the stock price into real growth, they need to actively utilize mobile devices to boost their stickiness in the U.S., and step up their game in international markets to gain new subscribers.”

Verto also found that 90.5 million users accessed Netflix at least once in June in the U.S., which gives it a 36.7% reach. It adds that 12.2 million users viewed Netflix content daily during the month and that the average viewer spends 4.2 hours per month on the platform with the average session lasting 23.5 minutes.

Netflix shares edged lower by as much as 0.48% to $95.51 during regular trading hours on Wednesday.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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