Next Stop for Netflix Stock: $500?

What goes up must come down, right?

Not necessarily. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) , which was the best-performing stock in 2013 -- and is beating the market again so far this year -- just attracted a $500-a-share price target from RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney

In the video below, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos reviews Mahaney's reasoning for the upgrade, noting that he has been a longtime bull on Netflix's shares. For example, Mahaney upgraded the stock back in September 2013, when shares were trading for $300 a piece, after RBC's survey on Internet video trends came back with unusually strong results for Netflix.

This week's upgrade is for basically the same reasons, Demitrios notes. RBC's latest survey found that Netflix just surpassed YouTube for the first time as the most popular destination for online video consumption. Netflix also hit another milestone recently, RBC estimates, as the streamer's user satisfaction levels are at a new record high.

If true, those trends would be great news for Netflix's business, as they suggest that the company is having more success in attracting new customers and in retaining the ones it already has, likely thanks to an improving user interface and growing content library. That strong base of growth in the U.S., plus an ambitious expansion into Europe later this year, could justify the roughly 15% increase in shares that would put the stock above $500, Demitrios argues. Still, given Netflix's huge run, investors should tread carefully with this stock.

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  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 8:59 PM, plungerboy wrote:

    wake up man :)

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 10:37 PM, blimey1 wrote:

    Mark Mahaney should provide transparency around RBC's portfolio and the advice they are peddling to their clients.

    This sounds like intentional pumping to derive short term gains.

    NFLX's current stick price is difficult to justify on any established, proven bases.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 12:18 AM, Fo45 wrote:

    Netflix selling $20 for $19 and paying the debt by adding new members. With skyrocketing content cost, hefty payment to ISPs. Netflix has to increase the subs fee and risk nosedive or add much more members and than previous quarters wich is not as easy as in the past due to fierce competition, originals not exclusive anymore are factors that are really affecting Netflix membership growth.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 12:43 AM, sliderw wrote:

    As Netflix expands further in Europe this year (specific countries not yet announced), it is likely to encounter stiffer, entrenched local competition. If Netflix's existing-market growth decelerates at the same time, it could be a double whammy to the stock.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 9:01 AM, pazziMartin wrote:

    Come on man get your facts straight, Mahaney didn't upgrade he reiterated his buy with the same PT.

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