Upon Reflection, Netflix Is as Bad as We Thought It Was in April

  • Netflix (NFLX) stock took a big tumble more than a month ago with a horrendous first-quarter earnings report.
  • Now with the benefit of hindsight, investors are doubling down on their bearishness for NFLX stock.
  • The days of Netflix being a leading streaming stock are probably over.
the netflix logo displayed on a tablet that a person is holding while laying down
Source: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock.com

It’s been a little more than a month since Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) stock had its worst day in a long time — perhaps forever. That was April 19, when Netflix issued its first quarter earnings report and the wheels pretty much fell off NFLX stock.

That was also the day Netflix acknowledged losing more than 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter — the first time in a decade that it lost subscribers.

On top of that, the company announced that it expected to lose another two million accounts in the second quarter. That makes 200,000 look pretty paltry. The company explained more in a letter to shareholders.

“Our revenue growth has slowed considerably,” the company said in a letter to shareholders. “Streaming is winning over linear, as we predicted, and Netflix titles are very popular globally. However, our relatively high household penetration — when including the large number of households sharing accounts — combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds.”

So, it’s no wonder that NFLX stock dropped 25% that day. But usually when you see that kind of one-day drop, there’s a bounce the next day. With the advantage of some reflection and a little bit of bottom-feeding and bargain shopping, big-name stocks that have a giant fall will usually recover some of those gains.

What’s interesting in the case of Netflix is that didn’t happen.

In fact, with the advantage of hindsight, investors are doubling down on their distaste for NFLX stock, and the price is continuing to fall.

NFLX Netflix $186.40
NFLX stock chart
Source: Yahoo Finance

Just look at the chart. Since that massive drop on April 19, Netflix is continuing to fall. The stock’s down another 17% since the company issued its Q1 report. That brings its post-earnings losses to a massive 44%. And losses for 2022 are nearly 70%.

What does all that mean? It’s a shocking vote of no-confidence in what has been one of the best growth stocks on Wall Street for the last several years.

Netflix was the originator in streaming. It started out as a DVD and video-by-mail service — you ordered what movie or show you wanted to see and it would come a couple days later. And you never had to worry about late fees, unlike your video store rentals.

Netflix was so popular that it pretty much made video stores like Blockbuster obsolete. And then it had the foresight to get into streaming video, so you could skip the mail-order component altogether and just tap a button on your remote when you were ready to stream.

Again, Netflix was making the competition obsolete. First it destroyed Blockbuster, and then it took aim at the cable companies. Netflix is a big reason that “cable cutting” became popular jargon.

Now, however, the shoe’s on the other foot. Other streaming companies like Disney (NYSE:DIS), Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Video, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA), HBOMax operated by Warner Brothers Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) and others are stepping into Netflix’s domain. And they’re cutting into Netflix’s growth

Netflix is scrambling. It recently announced plans to lay off 150 U.S. employees — less than 2% of the workforce. And it abruptly dropped a series of animated products that were geared to younger viewers. (Variety reports that its sources in the company emphasized that the programming changes were creative choices rather than cost related, but it’s worth noting.)

It’s Crunch Time for Netflix

If any stock needs to turn things around, its Netflix. More than half a dozen analysts already dropped their price targets on NFLX stock and there are surely more to come.

The biggest problem for Netflix at this point is that it’s not the leader of the pack any longer. The competition caught up and, in some cases is putting out content that is arguably better than what you can find on the NFLX platform.

I think the days of Netflix being the No. 1 streaming platform are in the rearview mirror. I’m staying away from NFLX for the time being because I think there’s more pain than gain with this stock for now.

On the date of publication, Patrick Sanders did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Patrick Sanders is a freelance writer and editor in Maryland, and from 2015 to 2019 was head of the investment advice section at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter at @1patricksanders.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2022/05/upon-reflection-nflx-stock-is-as-bad-as-we-thought-it-was-in-april/.

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