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Is Netflix Stock on the Verge of Collapse?

By Joe Tenebruso – May 23, 2020 at 9:21AM

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One analyst says the streaming leader's shares could plunge more than 60%.

Not everyone is a fan of Netflix (NFLX -2.24%).

Morningstar analyst Neil Macker is particularly bearish on the streaming video leader's prospects. During a chat with Yahoo! Finance, Macker listed a number of risks he sees for Netflix's investors.

His primary concern revolves around Netflix's heavy spending on content, which caused it to burn through more than $3.2 billion in cash in 2019. "No. 1, cash flow for the company has been negative for a number of years and looks to be negative going forward as well," Macker said. "The cash burn is very high."

Flames are burning through a pile of cash.

Netflix stock could be headed for a nasty fall if it continues to burn through cash, according to Morningstar analyst Neil Macker. Image source: Getty Images.

Macker is also concerned about intensifying competition from new streaming services, both in the U.S. and key international markets such as India. "Disney's already hit over 50 million subscribers, next week we'll have the launch of HBO Max, Peacock is launching from Comcast as well, [and] Hulu is picking up subscribers," Macker said.

In addition, Macker questions whether Netflix will continue to be able to raise prices to offset its rising costs, in light of this increased competition.

After accounting for all of these risks, Macker places the stock's fair value at $160. Netflix's shares closed at $429.32 on Friday. Macker's valuation, therefore, implies a potential plunge of 62.7% from today's prices.

It should be noted, however, that most analysts disagree with Macker. Of the 41 analysts who cover Netflix, 25 rate it either a buy or strong buy, according to Yahoo! Finance. And of the 39 analysts who have issued price targets on the stock, the average estimate is $449. 

Moreover, betting against Netflix has been a losing proposition for most of its life as a public company. The stock is up a staggering 2,900% over the past decade. 

Joe Tenebruso owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short July 2020 $115 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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