Meet Wall Street’s Biggest Netflix Bear
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is set to report its most recent quarterly results after the close, and while there are many analysts cheering the stock on, one analyst expects Netflix to collapse.
Wedbush is the biggest bear on Wall Street, with a price target of $125, far below the consensus target of $382.60.
For this report, the firm expects content acquisition spending to trigger substantial cash burn for many years; notwithstanding three Netflix price increases in the past five years, cash burn continues to grow.
Wedbush also expects that international profits may remain elusive due to competition for content and subs, and last year’s price increases could cause a deceleration in subscriber growth.
In terms of the estimates, Wedbush expects revenue of $3.946 billion, earnings per share (EPS) of $0.83, and domestic and international streaming sub net adds of 1.25 million (with some meaningful downside risk) and 5.25 million. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are $0.79 in EPS and $3.94 billion in revenue.
According to a recent report from Wedbush:
This year’s May – June Originals were light compared to last year, which could negatively impact Q2:18 domestic subscriber additions. Last year during Q2, Netflix released new seasons for several high-profile Original series, including Master of None (May 12), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (May 19), Bloodline (May 26), House of Cards (May 30), and Orange is the New Black (June 9), and followed up in Q3 with new seasons of Narcos (September 1) and Club de Cuervos (September 29). Notwithstanding the second season launch of 13 Reasons Why on May 12, the rest of the May – June release schedule lacked virtually all of the critically acclaimed launches that made up last year’s late-Q2 slate. As a result, domestic net subscriber additions in Q2 may fall below our estimate of 1.25 million and guidance of 1.20 million. Strength in international may help offset the impact on revenues, but Netflix shares have historically reacted negatively to domestic subscriber misses relative to guidance.
Looking ahead to guidance for the third quarter, Wedbush expects to see revenue of $4.159 billion, EPS of $0.80 and domestic and international streaming sub net adds of 1.00 million and 5.25 million. Consensus estimates call for $0.73 in EPS and $4.13 billion in revenue for the quarter.
Shares of Netflix were last seen at $396.00, with a 52-week range of $160.02 to $423.21.
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