Why Oppenheimer Sees Netflix Going to the Moon

Chris Lange

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has been the beneficiary of incredibly positive trends in the online streaming business. The company is now looking to expand even further internationally, which most analysts are seeing as very profitable. Oppenheimer issued a call lifting its price target to the higher end of the spectrum among analysts.

24/7 Wall St. also detailed what could be a battle in China between Alibaba and Netflix for online streaming.

Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and increased its price target to $775 from $610. The brokerage firm bases this on its estimate that Netflix’s five oldest markets — the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Ireland — will end 2015 at an average broadband penetration rate of 30%. Oppenheimer’s revised model now estimates 2020 global subscribers at 239 million, or 32% penetration of broadband homes, consistent with 2015 rates in older markets.

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Oppenheimer detailed in its report:

Using Canada’s growth as a reference point, we assume varying penetration rates in international markets. We assume Latin America markets at 9% penetration in 2015 (led by Brazil), with UK/Ireland at 25%/20%, respectively.

Additionally, Google Trends data suggests increased interest in recently launched markets Australia and New Zealand. Netflix also has announced specific plans to enter Japan, Cuba, Spain, Italy and Portugal, all in 2015.

According to ITU, global fixed broadband subscriptions will reach 989 million in 2020. Oppenheimer estimates global broadband subs, excluding China, to be 752 million in 2020 (76% broadband), implying a six-year compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 5%. The brokerage firm estimates 32% broadband penetration for Netflix in 2020, consistent with its most mature markets currently.

In January, Netflix announced that its global expansion to 200 countries should be complete by the end of 2016. The company cited the general growth of the Internet, including smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, as the main driver of global expansion. Currently, Netflix is available in 61 countries, and it has announced plans to expand into an additional four, for a total of 65 countries by the end of 2015.

Shares of Netflix traded at $657.10 on Friday’s close. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $596.68 and a 52-week trading range of $315.54 to $692.79.

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