Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported its most recent earnings results to kick off the week, and it sent a shockwave through the market. The online streamer realized perhaps its best quarterly net results in over six years, and that says something for a company growing as quickly as Netflix.
Analysts and investors alike were shocked at the results and sent shares higher. Even analysts that are bears on Netflix had to recognize the magnitude of this quarter and hiked their price targets. It goes without saying that this was a big win for the bulls.
24/7 Wall St. has included some brief highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts have been saying over the course of this week.
Netflix said it had 15 cents earnings per share (EPS) and $2.785 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for 16 cents EPS and $2.76 billion in revenue. In the same period last year, Netflix reported 9 cents in EPS and $2.11 billion in revenue.
For the second quarter, global net adds totaled a second-quarter record 5.2 million as opposed to a forecast of 3.2 million. Net adds increased 5% sequentially, bucking historical seasonal patterns. For the first six months of 2017, net adds are up 21% year-on-year to 10.2 million.
In terms of guidance, the company expects to see 32 cents in EPS and $2.97 billion in revenue for the third quarter. At the same time, Netflix expects to see 4.40 million in net additions for the quarter, making a total of 108.35 million memberships.
Merrill Lynch was the first bull to chime in on the stock. The brokerage firm pointed out that Netflix beat second-quarter estimates with record subscriber gains as a strong content slate drives subscriber acquisitions. According to the firm, the second-quarter subscriber beat proves that content is king and big investments in content can pay off. Merrill Lynch raised its price objective to $199, but it sees potential for higher valuation if Netflix is more aggressive on pricing.
Although Credit Suisse remained Neutral on Netflix, it still had to respect this quarterly report. In turn the firm boosted its price target to $190 from $154. The firm detailed in its report:
Netflix posted a beat-and-raise result due primarily to the ongoing strength of its owned-and-operated content (combination of 13 Reasons Why as well as House of Cards S5). International results for the second quarter were particularly strong as the company added 3.7 million paid subs, against the usual seasonal pattern of a drop-off in the quarter and the momentum will likely continue into 2H17 with a strong release slate which will include Narcos S3, Stranger Things S2, and The Crown S2. And whereas we were expecting the usual summer lull for 2Q/3Q, 2017 will likely close with Netflix adding closer to about 16 million paid subscribers in its Int’l operations versus our prior expectation of 13.9 million; our domestic net paid subscriber add remain essentially unchanged at 4.8 million.
A few other analysts weighed in on Netflix as well:
- Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $200 from $175.
- Cowen has an Outperform rating and lifted its price target to $197 from $170.
- Instinet has a Buy rating and increased its price target to $195 from $175.
- Jefferies has a Hold rating and boosted its price target to $165 from $141.
- JP Morgan has an Overweight rating and raised its price target to $210 from $178.
- Morgan Stanley lifted its price target to $210 from $185.
- RBC has an Outperform rating and boosted its price target to $210 from $175.
- FBN Securities reiterated an Outperform rating and increased its price target to $190 from $165.
- Loop Capital reiterated a Buy rating and lifted its price target to $205 from $180.
Shares of Netflix closed out the week at $188.54, with a consensus analyst price target of $182.58 and a 52-week range of $85.01 to $187.17. Over the course of the past week, the stock rose over 17%.