I retweeted an article this morning that I wrote last month suggesting that it would be ill-advised to short Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). I sent the unabashed retweet after learning that Netflix stock was up sharply after hours following an earnings report that exceeded analysts' expectations.
With the emergence of Web TV, I saw Netflix as a good investment because of the role that it has played in pioneering streaming video. My top stock portfolio, Silicon Valley 2.0, is outperforming the S&P by some 27% annually. Netflix and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) holdings have boosted the fund lately.
Netflix stock has more than tripled in the past 12 months. Before the earnings report, many short-sellers who felt Netflix was overvalued targeted the stock. Lots of analysts were surprised as well by Netflix's continued growth and are scrambling to reevaluate the stock. Only 23% of the analysts covering the stock had a buy rating on the shares before the earnings report.
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The broken line on the chart shows how analyst price targets moved up sharply after the market closed.
Meanwhile, despite its small size, Netflix has surprised many observers with its continued success in the vital and contentious battle to secure premium content for its viewers. As part of that effort, Netflix recently convinced a senior vice president at Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Jonathan Friedland, to become the new vice president of global corporate communications at Netflix.
Netflix rival Hulu is owned by Disney. Hulu's owners, industry titans NBC Universal, News Corp.(NASDAQ:NWS) and Disney, are worried that free Internet versions of their most popular TV shows are eroding its core business and are at odds among themselves and with Hulu management about the amount of free content it offers, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this week, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos threw down the gauntlet in its public battle with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) to gain more popular content. HBO's content deal with Time Warner ends in 2014, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
"We will be an aggressive bidder for that content," declared Sarandos. "That will be good for Warner Bros., not so good for HBO."
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.