NEW DIRECTIONAL CALL PLAYS
Netflix, Inc. - NFLX - close: 113.50 change: -0.55
Stop Loss: 106.90
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Average Daily Volume = 19 million
Entry on November -- at $---.--
Listed on November 05, 2015
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below
Netflix has come a long way from its late 1990s roots as a DVD-rental-by-mail business. Today it is one of the largest online streaming video-on-demand businesses. The company's most recent earnings report was disappointing but failed to derail enthusiasm for the stock.
NFLX is part of the services sector. According to the company,
"Netflix is the world's leading Internet television network with over 69 million members in over 60 countries enjoying more than 100 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments."
Traditional media giants have been struggling with a massive change in consumer viewing habits. More and more people are "cutting the cord" with traditional cable television subscription packages. Case in point, Time Warner (TWX) just reported earnings this week and lowered their guidance as they expect more pay-TV subscribers to leave. That's because there are too many online streaming video options that are more competitive than regular cable services. NFLX has been a significant winner as people cut the cord.
NFLX is one of the market's best performers this year with a +132% gain year to date. Yet NFLX is not invincible. Doubts have been growing about NFLX's ability to keep growing and its rising costs. Their most recent earnings report is a good example.
NFLX announced their Q3 earnings results on October 14th. They missed Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom line. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.08 a share on revenues of $1.75 billion. NFLX delivered $0.07 a share. Revenues were up +23% to $1.74 billion. It wasn't a big miss but it was a miss. Furthermore NFLX management lowered their Q4 guidance below estimates. They now see Q4 earnings at $0.02 a share compared to estimates at $0.03.
One of the biggest disappointments was domestic subscriber growth. NFLX added 3.62 million subscribers globally. 2.74 million where international subscribers. The rest, 880,000 subs, were U.S. subscribers. That was significantly below analysts' estimates at 1.25 million.
NFLX partially blamed this subscriber miss on the credit card industry, which has been issuing new, more sophisticated credit cards with security chips in them. Essentially subscribers needed to update their billing info with the new card and that didn't happen, which produced more customer "churn". At least that is the story from NFLX. Credit card experts think this story is baloney and just a scapegoat for NFLX's poor growth.
Another challenge facing NFLX is growing competition. Amazon.com tries to dominate every market they are in. Their Amazon.com video streaming service is $99.00 a year (about $8.25/month) but this hasn't stopped NFLX's growth. Hulu has been a competitor in the online streaming video industry for years. They just launched a new ad free subscription service at $11.99 a month. According to Hulu, the customer response has been awesome but they are not releasing any numbers on how many people have signed up. Hulu's advantage over NFLX is being able to watch current season TV on their service. Yet another competitor for NFLX is YouTube. YouTube is launching a paid subscription service called YouTube Red for $9.99 a month. In spite of all the competition NFLX remains the dominant player and they continue to expand both in the U.S. and overseas. (FYI: new subscribers pay $9.99 a month for NFLX)
If missing earnings estimates and lowering guidance wasn't bad enough NFLX also told investors that they plan to raise additional capital next year (2016) to help "fund our continued content investments". That means more debt and could mean more stock (which dilutes shareholders). One of NFLX critics biggest arguments has been the company's rising expenses. Yet in spite of all these challenges NFLX's stock continues to perform.
Investors bought the post-earnings sell-off in the $97 range. Shares are now up three weeks in a row. They have filled the gap from October 15th (post-earnings drop) and kept rising. Now NFLX is on the verge of breaking out past its early October highs (near $115-116). The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting at $148 target.
In summary, the growth story for NFLX seems a little bruised with their missed subscriber numbers. They continue to spend a ton of money on content and expansion. Yet investors continue to buy the name. The consumer trend of switching from traditional cable to streaming is not going to reverse and that benefits NFLX.
We are adding NFLX as a bullish candidate. We do consider it a higher-risk, more aggressive trader because shares can be so volatile. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $116.15.
I would use small positions to limit risk.
FYI: If you're curious about Netflix and their long-term outlook, check out this page on their website
Netflix's View: Internet TV is replacing linear TV
Trigger @ $116.15 *small positions to limit risk*
- Suggested Positions -
Buy the 2016 JAN $120 CALL (NFLX160115C120) current ask $6.30
option price is a current quote and not a suggested entry price.
Entry disclaimer: To avoid an unfavorable entry point, we will not launch a new play if the stock gaps open more than $1.00 past our suggested entry point.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike