A Fool Looks Back

A busy week for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) started with a big licensing deal and ended with a Wells notice.

The leading video service soared early in the week after striking a multiyear deal for exclusive streaming rights for Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) films during the lucrative pay-TV window. The deal doesn't kick in until the Disney movies that make their theatrical debuts in 2016, but it's still one more reason to believe that no other streaming service will ever catch up to Netflix.

Then on Thursday, the company revealed that the SEC was investigating comments that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted on Facebook earlier this year. He revealed to his more than 200,000 subscribers that the company was now serving up more than a billion hours of monthly streams.

That may seem like an odd target, given the open nature of Facebook subscriptions, but this is information that probably should've gone out as a press release or posted on the company blog first.

Then again, what's a video service without a touch of drama?

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Signs of life continue in the housing industry. Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL  ) posted better-than-expected results, and the near-term outlook is even better. Cancellation rates are down, and the order backlog of contracted homes to deliver is up. Sure enough, the housing recovery is chugging along, though all bets are off if the mortgage interest deduction is reduced or eliminated next year.
  • Speaking of bets, Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA  ) filed an application to initiate the process of acquiring a Nevada gaming license. This is the first step in moving toward real-money gambling, though the social-gaming giant still has plenty of legal hurdles in its way. Don't bet on a quick resolution.
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) plans to add at least 1,500 net new locations in the U.S. over the next five years. Didn't it seem as if the company was everywhere already? Starbucks had better bring a shoehorn.

Moving on
The precipitous drop in Netflix shares since the summer of 2011 has caused many shareholders to lose hope. While the company's first-mover status is often viewed as a competitive advantage, the opportunities in streaming media have brought some new, deep-pocketed rivals looking for their piece of a growing pie. Can Netflix fend off this burgeoning competition, and will its international growth aspirations really pay off? These are must-know issues for investors, which is why we've released a brand-new premium report on Netflix. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. We're also offering a full year of updates as key news hits, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.


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