Investor enthusiasm is hitting a higher gear for Netflix (NFLX -1.26%) ahead of the streaming video giant's second-quarter earnings report on July 16.
Shares pushed further beyond $500 on Friday after Goldman Sachs boosted its short-term price target to $670 per share to mark the highest such forecast from a Wall Street firm covering the stock.
Goldman Sachs is predicting that the streaming video giant will likely blow past the forecast CEO Reed Hastings and his team issued in late April calling for membership growth to slow to 7.5 million in Q2 compared to 16 million in the prior quarter. To be sure, Netflix likely benefited from increased stay-at-home time in April, May, and June, plus the lack of other entertainment options such as restaurants, theme parks, and movie theaters.
Goldman Sachs also cited the tech giant's cash flow trends that are ironically being improved by the pandemic since COVID-19 is forcing Netflix to pause spending on most new content production. This shift might limit growth in future quarters, but Netflix's far bigger portfolio today still puts it in a better position than newer entrants like Walt Disney (DIS -0.84%).
Yet for the stock to keep surging toward $700, investors will need to hear a different tone from management than the caution they expressed in the early spring. Such a shift is possible in the coming days, if Netflix indeed saw a sustained increase in user growth, engagement, and cash flow in the fiscal second quarter.