Short Selling ETF Will Keep Shorting Netflix After the Fall

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was brutalized following its earnings report after the market close on Wednesday. Despite meeting its earnings estimates, it was devastated by its subscriber additions. Short sellers watching the drop might be inclined to stick around a while longer, says one fund.

Brad Lamensdorf is the portfolio manager of the short-only fund, Ranger Equity Bear ETF (NYSEMKT: HDGE). Over the past month, this fund has been the best performing actively managed exchange traded fund. Lamensdorf says he will continue to short Netflix as a part of this portfolio.

Note that the S&P 500 was at an all-time high barely over a month ago at 2,019.26 and has since fallen 7.75% to Thursday’s close of 1,862.76. In this time, Range Equity Bear ETF is up roughly 8% due to its exposure of both large- and mid-cap stocks.

The ETF shorted Netflix last May. At that time, Lamensdorf said that despite Netflix providing a great service, it would have a long way to go before its earnings could justify its current valuation.

Lamensdorf also mentioned, “Netflix is fueling its growth by buying content at an outrageous price. While subs have grown they have yet to yield any earnings from the growth. The more they spend the worse it will get.”

Other analysts have weighed in on Netflix as well with a similar sentiment:

  • Raised to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
  • Downgraded to Fair Value from Buy at CRT Capital
  • Maintained as Buy at Canaccord Genuity, but with the price target cut to $450 from $550
  • Target price lowered to $450 from $550 at Goldman Sachs, which maintained its Buy rating
  • Maintained Buy rating at Janney, but target cut to $470
  • Outperform rating maintained at RBC Capital Markets, but the target price lowered to $550 from $600

Ranger Equity Bear ETF looks for companies with low earnings quality or aggressive accounting, among other criteria, when it chooses candidates to short.

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