Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore says Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) has become one of the biggest enigmas on the market. It's fiendishly tough to determine where the company stands in the competitive landscape, and whether the stock is fairly valued -- especially since its price has more than tripled in the past year.
Bears will point to a plethora of deep-pocketed competitors hoping to enter the space -- including a proposed streaming service from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) . Bulls say they've seen that movie before, reminding us Netflix has already vanquished big names like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) and Blockbuster. Its inclusion in the new Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) TV box illustrates how it's consolidating its power.
No one follows the stock more closely than the team at Motley Fool Stock Advisor, where it's a Core holding. Stock Advisor analyst Andy Cross says he worries about the money Netflix will have to spend over the next few years for content -- for example, what will it cost to renew its deal with Starz? On the other hand, Andy says there's plenty of value in the future of streaming, the superior customer service, and the Netflix brand.
Bottom line: Netflix is a great company with some differentiated offerings. It's everywhere -- in the Xbox, Wii, TiVo, even the iPhone and iPad. It should only be held only in proper allocations, however, because it's risky. If it keeps one-upping competitors, the great performance can continue. If not, investors will punish the stock. Buy only if you understand the risk-reward profile.
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