Analyst Downgrades Netflix
Netflix may have seen its shares more than double since the beginning of the year, but Morgan Keegan analyst Justin Patterson figures they're due to fall if the company continues to spend lavishly on deals that allow it to stream relatively new movies to its customers. On Wednesday he set a target price of $100 on Netflix's stock, which closed down 5 percent to $125, largely due to Patterson's note to clients. Noting that Netflix's deal last week with Epix for Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM films reportedly cost nearly $1 billion over five years, Patterson commented that that amount works out to $1.11 per month per subscriber. "The Epix deal now represents a baseline for future content negotiations and it is plainly clear that Netflix has limited ability to take on such deals without eroding margins," he wrote. Nevertheless, he concluded that Netflix chief Reed HaStings and his team should be given their due. "For over a decade, they have defied expectations and grown Netflix into a company on pace to generate $2 billion in annual revenues. Our original thesis was that the company's early mover advantage in streaming would represent another inflection point for growth. While we remain believers in the service, data from recent content deals suggest the business is evolving differently than we had foreseen."