This just in: Netflix
CEO Reed Hastings has pulled the plug on the only bad move he made all summer. The inexplicable separation between streaming church and DVD state would have made both services harder to use, and we're only using it at all because it's so darn handy. Take that away, and Netflix customers suddenly have near ly no incentive to stay, you know, Netflix customers.
"There is a difference between moving quickly -- which Netflix has done very well for years -- and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case," Hastings said in a press statement.
Hastings has come around to my point of view, which also seemed to be shared by hordes of relieved investors today, as Netflix shares jumped more than 11% in pre-market trading. Then shares collapsed throughout the day, though, down more than 3% in late trading. Ouch.
Still, management isn't tone-deaf to the wants and needs of its customers, as I had feared it was. Coinstar's
Now I'm just waiting for the higher revenues from the almost-separated services to translate into a significantly stronger streaming catalog. If you assume that every DVD customer opts for the low cost of a one-disc plan, that much-maligned guidance update translates into $864 million in domestic sales or a 12% jump from the preceding quarter. That could be a nice boost once Netflix has a full quarter of price changes in effect. A year ago, the second-to-third-quarter domestic revenue jump was just 6.3%.
This makes Netflix a solid buy in my book again. But to earn a spot in the screaming-buy category right next to wildly undervalued camera chip maker OmniVision Technologies, Hastings still has more work to do. He's lost some of my trust, which is an absolutely essential part of any company's real value. To see what Hastings does or doesn't do to renew that trust, you should add Netflix to your Foolish watchlist. Get started, and then soak in all the news and Foolish analysis you can handle on Netflix -- or any other stock you choose.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix and OmniVision but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Coinstar, and Amazon.com and creating a bear put spread position in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, follow him on Twitter or Google+, or peruse our Foolish disclosure policy.