Moody’s gave some confirmation that the debacles that plagued Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in late 2012 and crippled its share price are well behind the company. Its relationship with customers has been cemented again. Subscription growth is remarkable good, as are earnings. The rating agency turned it opinion of the company’s debt to “positive” from “stable.” The debt has a current rating of Ba3, which is still considered junk.
The Moody’s decision follows one by Morgan Stanley to change it rating to “equal weight” from “underrate.” According to TheStreet, ‘analyst Scott Devitt wrote that Netflix “would enter a period of slowing U.S. sub growth before International users could offset the slowdown. We were wrong.”‘ Between the two research announcements, investors pressed Netflix shares to $410, two dollars short of its all-time high.
Netflix has built the perception that it is the primary enemy to Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the new age streaming media business and to cable companies and their ancient set-top box and DVR infrastructure.
Netflix continues to have its share of challenges. Its move into original programming exposes it to huge production costs. It cannot afford the create the armies of shows that cable networks like Time Warner Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TWX) HBO do. However, as a foil to this, it has built relationship with most major providers of long form premium video, although it has more and more competition for this content. That raises the chance that these producers can raise prices in a bidding war as other distributors vie to create large libraries.
Netflix was among the first companies to get consumers to migrate from DVD to streaming. It ruined the old model. Now, it can claim it is at the forefront of the new one. Its only problem going forward is that several other companies can say the same thing, too.