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Analysts At Wall Street Ignore Weak Subscriber Forecast By Netflix


Analysts At Wall Street Ignore Weak Subscriber Forecast By Netflix
Despite Netflix Inc forecasting weak growth in subscribers for the third quarter, analysts at Wall Street shrugged of the forecast and instead focused on the record number of users that the video streaming service had notched up in the first half of the current year.
Analysts also apparently supported the strength of the firm to ward off competition from a host of new players in the market including Disney+ and HBO MAX.
Their target for the share price of the company was raised by at least 10 brokerages at Wall Street and said that the demand for the streaming service company was skewed toward the first half of the year as more people were forced to stay back at home during this period because of the stay at home orders imposed by many governments to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In the first half of the current year alone, almost 26 million new subscribers were added by Netflix. In comparison, the company had notched up a total of 28 million subscribers for the entire of 2019.
"We view the sub guide as conservative and believe the current dearth of viewing options, including lack of sports, positions Netflix as the go-to option," Piper Sandler analysts said.
This record growth in the new subscribers in the first half of the current year came even in the face of more streaming companies entering the field – some with very deep pockets and exclusive content. T he list of new entrants into the field included Walt Disney Co's Disney+, which was launched in November last year and AT&T Inc which launched HBO Max in May.
With almost 193 million paying online customers, including the addition of new members, Netflix is currently the largest subscription streaming video service of the world.
So far this year, shares of the company have gained the most at the stock market. However its shares dropped by more than 8 per cent in pre-market trading on Friday morning following the announcement of the company that it expected to rope in about 2.5 million new paid streaming customers globally which was about half of what was being forecast by analysts.
There were also concerns among analysts that Netflix will not be able to attract as many new subscribers to its platform in the rest of the year, as it did in the first part of the year, with the shows that are slated for the rest of the year. The company had released two hit shows "Stranger Things" and "Money Heist" in the third quarter of 2019.
Credit Suisse analysts said they expect price increases to kick in late 2020 to mid-2021, likely hampering subscriber additions and investor interest in Netflix as a stay-at-home "winner" might taper off with countries reopening.