Given shaky trading in the FANG group recently, Mad Money host Jim Cramer decided to review the bear case on hyper-growth tech stocks. On most of the names, he didn’t come up with much dirt. But Cramer did find some problems with streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and NFLX stock.
The company has thrived as the leader in a burgeoning over-the-top entertainment space, but it can’t run in open fields forever. Competition is coming in a big way, namely from Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), which just acquired entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) ahead of its big plunge into streaming with ESPN Plus in 2018 and a Disney streaming service in 2019.
Consequently, Cramer labeled Netflix as “the most vulnerable” of the hyper-growth tech stocks he looked at.
I tend to agree. Of the FANG group, I undoubtedly think Netflix is the most vulnerable. It has big growth prospects (73% earnings growth projected over the next several years), but a bigger valuation (150 times this year’s earnings). Competition is coming, and Disney will prove to be a very formidable competitor given its robust content portfolio. Bigger competition plus a bigger base will cause growth to slow in the foreseeable future.
But that doesn’t make NFLX stock a sell at these levels. Far from it. I still think NFLX stock is a buy.
Disney Competition Doesn’t Mean Netflix Is Doomed
I’ve been an outspoken bull on Disney’s prospects as a formidable player in the streaming content world. But even as a big bull on Disney’s streaming efforts, I’m not bearish on Netflix’s growth prospects.
Why? Saying Netflix is doomed because Disney is creating a streaming service seems unnecessarily short-sighted and irrational considering the dynamics of a subscription business model.
Why can’t the two streaming services exist and thrive side by side? After all, this is a massive secular growth space wherein everyone is ditching cable and going over-the-top.
With all those consumers going over-the-top, they won’t just want one streaming service. They’ll want multiple streaming services.
And consumers can afford multiple streaming services. The average cable bill is $100 per month. Netflix costs $14 per month at its top tier. Disney said its streaming service will cost far less. Do the math: $14 + something less than $14 = something far less than $100.
In other words, cost won’t be an issue. So, the only way Netflix gets squeezed out here is if its value proposition gets eroded dramatically.
I don’t think that will happen. At around $10 per month, Netflix is cheap. And its value prop is quite robust considering the breadth and depth of original content you get for that $10. The streaming giant continues to pump out hit original series after hit original series, and this trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing. And because its original content, the only way you can watch it is by having a Netflix membership.
Consequently, Netflix’s value prop won’t erode dramatically in the foreseeable future, even in the face of competition from Disney.
Bottom Line on NFLX Stock
Netflix and Disney will flourish side by side over the next several years in the secular growth over-the-top entertainment market.
Right now, NFLX stock is struggling on irrational concerns that this won’t happen.
I think that this weakness presents an attractive long-term investment opportunity.
As of this writing, Luke Lango was long NFLX and DIS.