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Wells Fargo Downgrades Netflix On Spending Concerns

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Wells Fargo Downgrades Netflix On Spending Concerns

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) received a notable downgrade on Monday on expectations for lower cash returns.

The Analyst

Wells Fargo's Steven Cahall downgraded Netflix from Market Perform to Underperform, lowering the target price from $308 to $265.

The Thesis

Netflix had a good piece of the streaming service business to itself for a long time, but that's changing with multiple competitors having entered the market and more coming.

Cahall said Wells Fargo isn't particularly worried about Netflix's ongoing ability to sign up subscribers, with estimates of 2020 streaming subscribers of 194 million, 1% above the Street consensus and 2021 subscribers of 220 million, also above the Street.

It's how much it may cost Netflix to get those viewers that has the analyst turning bearish.

"We think NFLX can achieve the street’s subscriber growth expectations but those subs will be more expensive than investors realize," Cahall wrote in a note.

The new competition plays in here, forcing Netflix to spend more on content and marketing, which Cahall said, "brings the cash returns of the business into debate.

"If content is king, then cash is queen," Cahall said.

Price Action

Netflix's stock was down 0.86% to $307.50 per share at time of publication.

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Latest Ratings for NFLX

DateFirmActionFromTo
Dec 2019DowngradesHoldUnderperform
Dec 2019DowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2019DowngradesMarket PerformUnderperform

View More Analyst Ratings for NFLX
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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