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Why Netflix Stock Fell on Friday

By Daniel Sparks - Oct 18, 2019 at 7:10PM

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Are investors reassessing how they feel about the streaming-TV company's most recent earnings report?

What happened

Shares of streaming-TV giant Netflix (NFLX -3.33%) slipped on Friday, declining 6.2% by the time the market closed.

The stock's decline was likely partly driven by Friday's broader-market decline in many growth stocks like Netflix. But a pullback in the stock price may also reflect some disappointment in the company's third-quarter results.

A person looking at a large display of videos

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Shares of Netflix initially jumped following the company's third-quarter results, which were released after market close on Wednesday. But that gain faded throughout the trading day on Thursday, with the stock closing up a modest 2.4%, well below the near 10% gain shares saw in after-market hours on Wednesday.

While Netflix beat analyst estimates on some metrics -- namely earnings per share and international subscriber growth -- it reported worse-than-expected domestic subscriber growth during the period. The stock's decline on Friday could reflect a more cautious outlook for the company as investors consider the implications of the company's inability to grow subscribers meaningfully in the U.S. in recent quarters.

Now what

Management potentially contributed to investor concerns by lowering its outlook for full-year subscriber growth, reflecting an intensifying competitive environment. The company was previously expecting total net paid member additions in 2019 to be greater than they were in 2018. But now, management is expecting this year's subscriber growth to be slightly less than last year's.

Of course, management may just be exercising more caution in its guidance in the face of uncertainties about how new streaming-TV services from Apple and Walt Disney will impact the company. The two companies are both launching their streaming-TV services in November.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$237.01 (-3.33%) $-8.15
The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
DIS
$119.92 (-2.24%) $-2.75
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$171.83 (-1.33%) $-2.32

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