Will Retail Investors Chase the Overdue Netflix Stock Split?

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has been red hot in 2015. In fact, the stock has nearly doubled. How does Netflix keep retail investors interested in its stock? It has a stock split. Recently, 24/7 Wall St. has noted that Netflix has been the beneficiary of incredibly positive trends in the online streaming business.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the company announced that its board of directors had approved a seven-for-one stock split. This split will be effected in the form of a stock dividend of six additional shares of common stock for each outstanding share.

The stock dividend will be payable on July 14, for shareholders of record at the close of July 2. Shares will begin trading at a post-split price on July 15.

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. Overall, it expects to spend heavily on international expansion over the next two years and thus projects lower operating income in 2015 than in 2014.

The stock continues to be a top media play on Wall Street. The consensus on Wall Street is that Netflix likely will continue to benefit from a materially stronger original content launch, which would bolster the already strong franchises like the hit political show “House of Cards.” With many consumers tired of rising cable and carrier content prices, the streaming leader may have a big 2015 in front of it.

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Shares of Netflix closed Tuesday at $681.19, in a 52-week trading range of $315.54 to $692.79. In early trading Wednesday, shares were up 1.9% at $694.49. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $615.89.