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Why Netflix Stock Rose Today

By Evan Niu, CFA – Apr 20, 2020 at 2:04PM

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The video-streaming pioneer reports earnings tomorrow, and expectations are running high.

What happened

Shares of Netflix (NFLX 7.51%) have risen today, up by 4% as of 12:40 p.m. EDT, amid ongoing optimism that the video streamer will report strong net subscriber additions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix is set to post first-quarter results tomorrow after the close.

So what

Last week saw a flurry of analyst activity regarding Netflix, with the majority releasing bullish research notes and raising price targets. The stock pulled back somewhat on Friday after a few bearish analysts argued that the tech company's valuation had gotten too lofty.

Netflix interface

Image source: Netflix.

The consensus estimate calls for Netflix to add 7.4 million global net subscriber additions, with some analysts modeling for over 10 million. Netflix's own  guidance, which was issued prior to the coronavirus outbreak reaching global scale, calls for 7 million net additions.

Now what

While many companies across various industries have provided investors with updates around how COVID-19 is impacting their business, Netflix has not said much. Netflix did not update its outlook, but Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos acknowledged in a CNN interview in March that the crisis was halting content production, which is a "massive disruption."

"Every one of our productions around the world has shut down," Sarandos added. "I believe that's unprecedented in history." Netflix still has content in the pipeline that will be released in the next few months, but the production disruptions could impact releases later in the year, according to Sarandos.

Investors will want to hear more commentary from management about how it plans to manage the crisis, as well as Netflix's subscriber guidance, going forward.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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