"The launch into the six new European markets appears costlier than anticipated," writes Janney after taking in Netflix's (NFLX -4.5%) light Q3 EPS outlook. Though the company expects its U.S. streaming contribution profit to rise $18M Q/Q to $245M, its international contribution loss is expected to grow $27M to $42M.
RBC expects Netflix's international ops to stay in "early-stage margin mode" for several years. Nonetheless, it sees the unit's margins matching U.S. levels long-term, and is reiterating an Outperform.
Over a dozen firms have still hiked their Netflix targets in response to the company's better-than-expected subscriber adds and healthy Q3 sub forecast. Pac Crest (PT hiked by $10 to $530) notes total Q2 adds of 1.7M beat its forecast by 300K, and that lower marketing spend is offsetting higher content costs (thus driving margin expansion as revenue grows).
Mentioned on the CC (transcript): 1) CFO David Wells suggests Netflix open to stepping up its content spend once margins hit 30%. U.S. streaming margin was at 27.1% in Q2. 2) Reed Hastings declares the impact of Netflix's price hike on sub adds to be minimal. 3) Expenses related to paid peering deals are dwarfed by content costs. 4) 10%-20% of international content tends to be local fare. 5) Netflix sees its superior TV show library as a differentiator relative to Amazon's European service (formerly called Lovefilm).