Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) have risen today, finishing with gains of 3%, after several Wall Street analysts released bullish research notes ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings release next week. The stock set fresh all-time highs.
No fewer than three firms -- Pivotal Research, Cowen, and Stifel -- reiterated buy ratings today while increasing their price targets. Pivotal boosted its price target from $425 to $490, the highest on Wall Street, as analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak increased his estimates for subscriber additions due to stay-at-home orders around the world related to the coronavirus outbreak. "We believe the unfortunate COVID-19 situation is cementing NFLX's global [direct-to-consumer] dominance partly driven by the incremental content spend that is enabled by their massive and growing subscriber base," the analyst wrote.
Cowen analyst John Blackledge increased his price target by $20 to $445, while Stifel's Scott Devitt assigned a valuation estimate of $440. Devitt is modeling for a whopping 9.9 million global net subscriber additions in the first quarter, and believes that the crisis is accelerating adoption of the tech company's eponymous video-streaming service in markets where it has been underpenetrated thus far.
The bullish commentary comes a day after BofA Securities similarly increased its price target while reiterating a buy rating. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced much of the world's population to stay at home, and people watch more TV when they're stuck at home.
Netflix reports first-quarter results on April 21 and the consensus estimate currently calls for 7.9 million net subscriber additions.