Netflix stock edged higher on Monday after analysts at UBS upgraded it to Buy from Neutral based on the belief that consensus numbers could be conservative. They also boosted their price target from $136 to $175.
Possible upside to guidance
In his upgrade note, analyst Doug Mitchelson said he sees room for upside to Netflix’s own guidance as well because of momentum in Europe and Latin America. The UBS Evidence Lab also found “modest improvements” in Japan based on data regarding app downloads. Mitchelson also pointed out that these strengths are even at a time when releases of original content are light. Management had also said that some first quarter subscriber growth had been pulled forward to the fourth quarter because of the strong original slate they had late last year.
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The UBS analyst also noted that Comcast said recently that the integration of Netflix into its X1 platform was successful, and as a result, he expects the company’s churn rate to keep falling as it strikes integration deals with other pay-TV providers.
He’s projecting 4.1 million international net subscriber adds during the first quarter, which is ahead of both consensus and guidance at 3.7 million.
A warning about Netflix stock
Not everyone is thrilled with Netflix stock right now though, as the shares hang out close to their all-time high near $146. In a post on InvestorPlace on Friday, Serge Berger noted that Netflix stock pulled ahead of its 21-day simple moving average on Thursday for the first time since November 2016. Thursday’s stock move also pushed the shares out of the “ever-tightening trading range” they had been in for the few weeks before that, he added.
But on Friday, he predicted a downside target of about $133 to $136 per share, which he described as “a confluence zone made up of the blue 50-day moving average and the lower third of the post earnings up-gap from Jan. 19.” He also warned that below that range, Netflix stock could then tumble to as low as $128 to $130 per share, which was the horizontal resistance level previously and was the 100-day moving average as of Friday.
“Any bullish reversal off the aforementioned support area should be respected as possible stop-loss signals for traders looking to play a tactical short-side trade in NFLX stock,” he summed up.
Shares of Netflix stock edged higher by as much as 1.61% to $141.38 during regular trading hours on Monday.