“If you weren’t dazed and confused, too, then you obviously weren’t on the Netflix conference call,” the expert said.
Price mattered for the first time
Cramer feels it is necessary for investors to listen to a company’s conference call after its earnings are released. It provides clarity from management on how the firm is actually doing. After the streaming giant had announced that it missed subscriber numbers for the second quarter, its shares dropped more than 13% on Tuesday.
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Te frequent use of the word “un-grandfathered” on the call was Cramer’s first concern. He is always suspicious when a firm creates a word that spellcheck does not recognize. Somehow, this nonexistent word dominated everything on the call, namely, that subscribers who were grandfathered into the streaming service did not renew their subscriptions before the price increase.
Price mattered for the streaming giant for the first time. The Mad Money host said it appeared as if the mere fear of the pending price increase is what weakened the U.S. numbers. No one knows why the “un-grandfathered” subscribers decided not to renew their service, and Cramer notes that the streaming giant did not understand it either. Cramer read the comments from the team several times, but he still could not figure it out.
“Un-grandfathering” will continue to haunt Netflix
It did not make sense to Cramer that subscribers left the service because of a few dollars, especially when compared to the price of a cable bill. He also didn’t understand when the streaming service blamed the previous quarter miss on an issue with credit card migrations, nor did he understand the last miss when the company attributed most of the blame to Australia. However, Cramer was willing to overlook each one because he knew that audiences adored the streaming service.
“Now, I am not so sure. You just shouldn’t be getting this level of Netflix cutting. And the lack of domestic growth isn’t being made up overseas, like it used to be,” the expert said.
Cramer does not think the streaming service will be able to get ahead with three straight quarters of misses, at least not until the “un-grandfathering” is finished at the end of the year.
“Perhaps you were listening to an old call, when the idea that someone wouldn’t pay up for Netflix was inconceivable. Not anymore,” Cramer said.