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07 Jul, Thursday
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Bull Trader USA

: Netflix could report 2 million fewer subscribers than expected, analyst warns

Netflix Inc.’s stock tumbled 2% Thursday after an influential Wall Street analyst warned the video-streaming service will come up short more than 2 million of global new subscribers for its fourth quarter, and miss in the following quarter.

“We now project 4Q Net Adds of 6.25M, down from 8.8M previously, & below NFLX’s NFLX, -2.08% 8.5M guide,” JPMorgan’s Doug Anmuth said in a note that trimmed Netflix’s price target to $725 from $750. “For 1Q, we now model 5.5M Net Adds, down from our prior estimate of 6.5M.”

Analysts polled by FactSet estimate the net addition of 8.6 million subscribers for the fourth quarter, and 7.25 million for the first quarter.

“We believe 4Q Net Adds were lumpy as NFLX started the quarter w/significant spike and buzz around Squid Game, which was released in late September,” Anmuth wrote. “Download growth then slowed & ultimately declined into early December before picking up on more favorable seasonality & stronger content releases.”

By any measure, JPMorgan’s projected growth represents a significant falloff for Netflix, which added 8.5 million new subscribers in the same quarter a year ago and had anticipated a bump in additions to 8.5 million as a result of a slew of new content. “We’re in uncharted territory,” Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said on the company’s post-earnings video interview in October. “We have so much content coming in Q4 like we’ve never had, so we’ll have to feel our way through and it rolls into a great next year also.”

Indeed, Anmuth is optimistic about the slate of Netflix’s new content, including the megahit “Squid Game” and the recently released “Don’t Look Up.” The climate change satire starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence drew the most viewing hours (152.3 million) for a movie in a single week (Dec. 27 to Jan. 2) in Netflix’s history.

“Don’t Look Up” already is Netflix’s third-most-watched film in its first 28 days of all time, behind “Bird Box” and “Red Notice.”

Netflix is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 20. Analysts expect earnings of 85 cents a share on revenue of $7.7 billion.

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