What do a middle-aged couple, your favorite pair of denim on Casual Friday, the NFL preseason, and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) have in common? They all seem to be due for a weekly round of loving this month.
Netflix was on the receiving end of an analyst bullish note yesterday, making it the fourth week in a row that a Wall Street pro has painted a rosier portrait of the leading premium video service. RBC Capital's Mark Mahaney is boosting his price target on the shares from $125 to $140.
Netflix's international potential is what's moving Mahaney -- already pegged to a bullish "outperform" rating -- to raise his goal. He was on CNBC yesterday, explaining that his firm surveyed the U.S., U.K., and Brazil to get a sense of how streaming customers worldwide are embracing the all-you-can-stream platform.
Netflix's international success isn't taking anyone by surprise anymore. The majority of the 15.5 million net additions that Netflix has scored over the past year are outside its home country. The survey results were still encouraging enough that Mahaney now sees international penetration clocking in closer to 30%. He was previously forecasting market penetration outside of the U.S. of just 20%. This should eventually mean that 200 million global subscribers -- 140 million of them outside the U.S. -- are generating more than $10 a share in earnings based on his model's operating margins and average revenue-per-user assumptions.
Suddenly, Netflix at $110 doesn't seem so expensive.
RBC Capital is just the latest firm to toss out a higher price target on Netflix.
- Last week it was UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson juicing up his goal on the stock from $116 to $143. He was encouraged by the Netflix's pricing elasticity, given the heady growth it has experienced since boosting its monthly fees last year. That bodes well for future upticks.
- The week before that, it was Raymond James going from $120 to $140 -- where Mahaney now rests.
- Three weeks ago, we had Stifel Nicolaus and Topeka Capital Markets jacking up their price goals.
The twisted irony is that even though August clearly served as a springboard for fatter price targets, we've seen Netflix go essentially nowhere. The shares closed out July at $114.31. They wrapped up the trading day yesterday at $110.13, off 3.7% for the month. One can argue that with friendly notes like these, who needs enemies, but in reality, analysts have stepped in to take advantage of the periodic sell-offs that we've been experiencing in Netflix in recent weeks.
There are things far worse than merely marching in place or even suffering a nearly 4% decline. Netflix is holding up fine through August's volatility, and that will do for now.