One of Monday's biggest winners was Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), soaring 7.4% to kick off the trading week. It may have been odd to see the leading premium video streaming service pop so high, especially when the morning began with a Wall Street pro lowering its price target.
Topeka Capital Markets kicked things off by lowering its price goal from $161 to $142, though with Netflix stock still trading well below the revised target the analyst remains bullish on the investment. Market momentum clearly overcame the analyst move. Let's explore the many reasons why this happened.
1. The Paris effect
Let's start with the market fallout after Friday's horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. Monday's market activity saw cruise line operators and many airlines moving lower, fearing that Europeans may stay closer to home and that foreigners may be reluctant to travel in these uncertain times.
Netflix has proven its mettle as an all-weather performer. It grew its streaming audience through the global recession as a value-priced entertainment subscription, and obviously it's going to grow even more popular if folks refrain from movie theater and other social outings.
2. The stock is bouncing back from a two-day slide
Shares of Netflix were tanking late last week, plunging 8.2% over the previous two trading days. Chatter that Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) was interested in buying Hulu weighed on Netflix stock on Thursday and Friday. Time Warner also owns HBO -- the premium service that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings often describes as its biggest rival -- and owning Hulu would only make it stronger.
As great as Monday's pop was, the stock still closed lower than where it was at last Wednesday's close. As big as Netflix is, volatility's going to happen.
3. Betting on the land down under
There was encouraging news out of Australia over the weekend. The media tracking Australian Communications and Media Authority issued a new report, claiming that 2.5 million of the 3.2 million Australians who consume streaming services through the first six months of the year were on Netflix. The market penetration for Netflix gets even better when we focus on shorter snapshots, as 88% of the 2.2 million Australians who engaged in streaming activity during the final week of that survey were Netflix subscribers, ZDNet reports.
Netflix is the streaming television platform of choice in the U.S., and it's apparently a hit in several of the overseas markets it has entered in recent years. With most of Netflix's subscriber growth in the future expected to come from its international operations, it's encouraging to see it take off in Australia.