The streaming industry has gone through a drastic evolution over the last couple of years, with the introduction of multiple platforms crowding a market that Netflix (NFLX 2.79%) had dominated for years. As a result, investors have a wide variety of streaming stocks to choose from, although not all are created equal.
Among the many streaming stocks, there are two companies that investors should be particularly bullish about -- and one to avoid at all costs.
Stock No. 1 to buy hand over fist: Amazon
Quarterly earnings reports have dominated headlines between July and August, with some results more surprising than others. Amazon's (AMZN 3.46%) stock has proven itself a must-buy on the back of a better-than-expected second quarter and promising acquisitions.
On Aug. 2, Amazon posted Q2 2022 revenue of $121 billion, beating Wall Street's forecast of $119 billion and representing a 7% rise year over year. The company's Amazon Web Services (AWS) division was the shining jewel of the report, bringing in $19.7 billion -- a growth of 33% since last year. The company also reported $3.3 billion in operating income, far above Wall Street's expectations of $1.75 billion.
Bullish investors have helped Amazon stock climb significantly in recent weeks, resulting in a 38.8% rise since it hit a crushing low on June 14. However, the stock is still down 24.8% since the height it reached in November 2021, with promising developments on the horizon for the company.
Amazon has gone on an acquisition spree, signing an agreement to purchase membership-based healthcare company One Medical on July 21 and consumer robot company iRobot on Aug. 5. Investors have reason to be optimistic about the acquisitions, as they can diversify Amazon's revenue streams as it ventures into the consumer robotics and healthcare industries.
Regarding One Medical, Amazon can utilize its strengths in subscription and delivery services to boost its health endeavors. Meanwhile, iRobot's line of popular robot vacuums and other devices suit Amazon as it grows its smart home products and strengthens its hold in the growing home automation market.
Stock No. 2 to buy hand over fist: Netflix
Netflix has had a tumultuous year, to say the least, wiping $55 billion off of its value in April as its stock crashed by 35.1% after reporting a loss of 200,000 subscribers in Q1 2022 and projecting a further loss of 2 million in Q2. However, the company's more modest loss of 970,000 subscribers in its second-quarter report has slowly restored investors' faith in the company.
Netflix's stock has steadily begun climbing again, rallying 28.6% throughout July after the company projected it would reach an all-time high of 221.67 million global subscriptions in Q3 2022, bringing an end to the membership declines it suffered during the first half of the year. August has followed suit, with Netflix's stock price increasing 8.38% from Aug. 1 to 18 -- from $226.21 a share to $245.17.
Netflix's stock still has a long climb back to where it was a year ago, perhaps making its current price an absolute bargain. In addition, the company's promising ventures, such as an ad-supported tier launching in early 2023 and password-sharing crackdowns, will likely increase its average revenue per user, bolstering profits and stock prices.
The stock you'd be wise to avoid: Comcast
Investors would be smart to stay far away from Comcast (CMCSA -0.01%) for now, as its second-quarter earnings could signify more trouble to come for the company.
Following disappointing Q2 2022 results, Comcast's stock fell by 13% from July 27 to 29. A decline of 10,000 residential broadband subscribers, leaving 29.8 million, and a gain of 10,000 business broadband members for a total of 2.3 million marked the first time Comcast failed to add any broadband users. The fact that the company had expected to add 84,000 subscribers during the quarter only exasperated investor disappointment.
Comcast's current third quarter has also done little to deter concerns, as the company reported losing 30,000 broadband subscribers in July. However, CEO Brian Roberts has attributed the losses to a rise in fixed wireless internet options but expects mobile substitution to "eventually stabilize." Moreover, the company's streaming business left little for investors to rally around in Q2 2022, as Comcast's Peacock saw zero growth, with its subscriptions remaining at 13 million.
The shining light in Comcast's second quarter was its entertainment business in studios and theme parks, where revenue grew 5% to just over $30 billion, and net income increased 14% to $4.5 billion.
Comcast's stock has fallen 34% since August 2021 as investor confidence diminishes and its business looks likely to lose a substantial amount of broadband subscribers in its third quarter, while its cable sector continues to suffer from nearly stagnant growth. Consequently, a disappointing third quarter will only further drive Comcast stock down, making it too risky for investors to touch right now.