Netflix turns negative, S&P cuts shares to Sell

|By:, SA News Editor

That "momentum investor-fueled euphoria" Reed Hastings (NFLX -4.1%) referenced in Netflix's Q3 shareholder letter is dissipating just a bit today, as investors take profits in spite of strong Q3 U.S. and international subscriber adds, and above-consensus Q4 EPS guidance. Evercore has upgraded shares to Equal Weight, but S&P has cut them to Sell.

Two possible concerns: Hastings' remarks about "low quality" Latin American free trial promotions boosting Q3 international adds, and the fact free cash flow fell Q/Q to $7M thanks to major content investments. Of course, shares remain up 268% YTD.

Janney's Tony Wilbe remains quite bullish, arguing shares could reach $700 with the help of continued sub growth and a $1/month price hike. JPMorgan's Doug Anmuth has raised his PT all the way to $460 from $340, and Needham's Laura Martin (Buy, $425 PT) thinks margin expansion is ahead of schedule, given Q3 margins hit estimates in spite of an extra $27M in amortization costs.

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