Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is continuing to press new highs as more and more consumers are adopting its streaming platform as part of their lives. The most recent blizzard on the East Coast saw more people staying home and watching Netflix than trying to brave the cold, and shares reflected this. However, it is not just U.S. consumers that love Netflix. This online streaming giant has been expanding massively on a global scale, and one bearish analyst is finally coming around.
Jefferies upgraded Netflix to a Hold rating from Underperform and raised its price target incredibly to $135 from a previous $95.
The brokerage firm conducted a survey targeting consumers in Germany and India to evaluate Netflix’s opportunity in these two key markets. Jefferies concluded that the growth opportunity appears larger than it had expected, as original content is performing well, mobile consumption is growing, competition appears limited and the pricing plan is gaining traction.
Admittedly, part of the firm’s negative thesis on Netflix had been that competition from local players and a consistent global price point would translate to a flatter trajectory of sub-growth and higher churn than expected. Based on its survey and recent results, this bearish outlook was found to be too negative.
Results from the study suggest that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (PV) could be gaining share from local platforms. Among Indian video streaming respondents, 74%/63% subscribe to PV/Netflix, while 41% subscribe to both (10% subscribe to local or other platforms). In Germany, 67%/45% subscribe to PV/Netflix, and 21% subscribe to both (14% subscribe to local or other platforms).
In terms of mobile consumption, 84%/50% of Indian/German respondents consume video through mobile. Also 54% of Indian respondents use the download functionality often, versus to 23% in Germany. As mobile viewing grows, Jefferies believes that Netflix’s investment in video delivery and optimization could be particularly important.
Jefferies detailed in its report:
Both groups identified originals as the type of content that they watch the most on NFLX (58% in India, 66% in Germany), closely followed by licensed TV content and movies. As NFLX offers a limited amount of local content (for now – relative to local platforms) the outperformance of originals across multiple regions has been a key growth driver (i.e. The Crown, Narcos, Luke Cage, 3%, etc.).
Only 6% of Netflix respondents in India would not accept a price increase, compared to 32% in Germany.
Shares of Netflix were last seen up 0.8% at $144.31 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $149.29 and a 52-week trading range of $84.50 to $145.95.