Netflix: How Does This Movie End?

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 (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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Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Apple,, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. The Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart Stores. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On September 16, 2010, at 11:15 AM, RoadRunner91910 wrote:

    Does anyone recall the company "LA Gear?" The stock took off like a rocket and if you caught it early in the climb you made a lot of money. If, however, you kept insisting "this stock still has room to grow," and hung on, you probably lost even more money, Several years ago, when I added Netflix to my CAPS list the stock was just beginning its ascent. The stock remains my best CAPS selection to date, earning a 354% increase. At the time, NFLX was pretty much the sole player in the field and the "it's in the mail concept" pretty much decimated the brick and mortar competition. Since then, competition from Red Box and several key errors by their management team in adding a social networking function to their online site no longer make this an attractive holding.

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