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Can Netflix Stock Stay Above $100 This Time?

By Rick Munarriz – Sep 7, 2016 at 8:28AM

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The dot-com darling closes in the triple digits for the first time since early June. The bulls are beating the bears despite Netflix's awful quarter.

Image source: Netflix.

Shares of Netflix (NFLX 1.39%) closed above $100 on Tuesday. It's the first time in three months that the stock has closed in the triple digits. It's a season-long drought, but given the summertime developments -- mostly its horrendous second-quarter report with its equally soul-crushing subscriber guidance -- it's a surprise that the stock even made it back north of $100 so quickly.

Yesterday's rally was spurred by a bullish analyst note. Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson argues that his "sum-of-the-parts" analysis translates into a stock worth $122, 25% ahead of where it was when it began this holiday-shortened trading week. He feels that concerns about stateside market saturation, longtime users dropping off after having to pay current rates, hungry competition, and slowing overseas growth are already reflected in where the stock is trading. Olson is obviously sticking to his overweight rating on the stock. 

There's been a lot of bullish noise when it comes to Netflix these days. Last week, it was Leon Cooperman from Omega Advisors talking up the leading premium streaming service as a buyout candidate on CNBC.

Earlier in the week, it was RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney explaining to investors why he has an outperform rating and a $130 price target on the shares. His bullish thesis revolves around improving churn rates, consumers relying less on rival platforms than worrywarts fear, and scaling profitability for its established international markets.

Things aren't perfect 

Boobirds have been few and far between. When Axiom Capital's Victor Anthony offered up a bearish thesis with an $80 price target last week, it seemed like a voice in the wilderness. Short interest hit a 52-week low this summer. 

This may all seem peculiar in light of the abysmal second quarter that it produced. That was when it spooked the market, revealing that it closed out the three months ending in June with just 1.68 million net subscriber additions. It had originally targeted 2.5 million net additions, and this was a company that had been historically conservative before this particular belly flop. Its forecast for the third quarter was just as bleak. 

The bad news was enough to send its stock plunging 13% in a single late July day, dropping from $98.81 to $85.85. It has gone on to make all that back and then some. If Netflix has been able to move higher despite rough financials, one can only imagine what the generally euphoric chorus of bulls can do when its fundamentals are actually on the mend. 

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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