Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is in a tough spot. NFLX stock price is down about 4% since the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report, and investors don’t appear willing to sustain prices north of $200 just yet. But with technical support and a bit of end-of-year upside bias, the bulls may still win out.
Fundamentally, Netflix didn’t put up bad third-quarter earnings … they just weren’t as over-the-top as many were expecting. Earnings per share were inline with expectations, revenue was slightly above the consensus target and subscriber growth was impressive. Netflix added 5.3 million subs, versus the Street’s view for 4.4 million.
Click to Enlarge Typically, this report would have elicited a nice post-earnings rally. However, NFLX stock had already gone on a tear higher in early October, and buying power heading into the report was a bit depleted. As a result, NFLX stock entered an extended period of consolidation as investors digested both the rally and Netflix’s earnings report.
That consolidation period may be coming to an end, however. The shares are perched on solid support at their 50-day moving average — a trendline that has guided NFLX stock price higher since the middle of the year. The shares are also in the process of rebounding off support near $190 — an area that marked NFLX highs in July and September.
Sentiment is also supportive of a continued rally for NFLX stock. Zacks reports that 13 of the 33 analysts following Netflix still rate the shares a “hold” or worse. The 12-month consensus price target rests at $213.84, and represents a modest premium of only about 9.6% to Monday’s close. In other words, NFLX stock could rise on any upgrade or price target increase, and there is certainly room for both.
As for sentiment among Netflix options traders, the December put/call open interest ratio arrives at a bullish reading of 0.50, with calls doubling puts among front-month options. Naturally, the $200 strike is the most popular among NFLX call traders, while the $195 and $190 have attracted a fair amount of put contracts.
Overall, December implieds are pricing in a potential move of about 4.3% heading into expiration. This places the upper bound at $203, while the lower bound rests at $186. As I noted above, I don’t believe NFLX will breach its 50-day moving average ahead of expiration, let alone drop below $190. With it’s current momentum, $200 is a much more likely target, and a breakout could push the shares well past $203.
2 Trades for NFLX Stock
Call Spread: For those looking to bet bullish on NFLX heading into December expiration, a Dec $200/$202.50 bull call spread has considerable potential. At last check, this spread was offered at 49 cents, or $49 per pair of contracts.
Breakeven rests at $200.49, while a maximum profit of $2.01, or $201 per pair of contracts — a potential return of 310% — is possible if NFLX stock closes at or above $202.50 when December options expire.
Put Sell: If resistance at $200 worries you, a Dec $187.50 put sell has a high probability of finishing out of the money. At last check, this put was bid at $1.44, or $144 per contract.
As usual with a put sell, you keep the premium as long as NFLX stock closes above $187.50 when December options expire. On the downside, if NFLX trades below $187.50 prior to expiration, you could be assigned 100 shares for each put sold at a cost of $187.50 per share.
As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.