Netflix shares dropped as much as 2.8% Thursday after a Bernstein analyst said the streaming company could fall 21% before hitting a floor for its valuation.
The streaming company has fallen about 22% over the last three months after its latest earnings report missed analyst expectations and the company posted its first loss in US subscribers since 2011. Netflix shares fell again at the start of September after Apple announced its new TV+ streaming service will start at $4.99 per month. Netflix's most affordable plan costs $8.99 per month.
The second-quarter disappointment and looming introduction of new services into the streaming wars has several investors asking how low Netflix might fall, Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said in client note. A 2017 valuation method found shares could fall as low as $230 from current prices before hitting a "theoretical 'floor,'" the analyst wrote.
Netflix closed at $286.60 per share on Thursday, and are up about 7% year-to-date.
Despite implying a possible 20% downside if Netflix continued to fall, Juenger maintains his positive outlook for the streaming empire. Netflix stock maintains an "outperform" rating from Bernstein, with a 12-month target price of $450 per share.
The forecast implies a 54% potential upside in the long term, and Juenger noted shares could even return to nearly $400 before the end of 2019.
"In the nearer term, at a minimum, we would suggest a strong 2H Netflix business performance should at least return the stock back to where it traded before the Q2 miss," the analyst wrote.
The analyst noted pricing, subscriber growth, and the loss of content were the three biggest worries for investors eyeing Netflix. However, the media company's international growth, original programming, and loyalty among consumers should eliminate two of the three issues over time, Juenger said, with pricing serving as "the only one that causes us any concern."
Netflix has 31 "buy" ratings, nine "hold" ratings, and four "sell" ratings, with a consensus price target of $386.51 per share, according to Bloomberg data.
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