Netflix, Inc.’s (NFLX) stock experienced steady growth over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 as of July 2, 2021. The stock saw gains of approximately 64.9% compared to the S&P 500’s increase of about 33.7%. Netflix saw a rise in ranking on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap to an impressive level of five from 43, and hedge funds were buying.
Netflix is an entertainment service company that provides subscription services for customers to enjoy movies and television shows through streaming and DVDs by mail. Netflix initially saw subscriber growth soar during the earlier months of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, when the government issued stay-at-home orders left customers seeking additional in-home entertainment. However, while Netflix remains a popular service, the rate of increase in their subscriber base ultimately slowed.
Hedge Funds Were Buying
Investors may be encouraged by first-quarter activity as hedge funds were adding to their portfolios. The aggregate 13F shares held by hedge funds increased to about 72.9 million from 71.6 million, a rise of approximately 1.8%. Of the hedge funds, 31 created new positions, 166 added holdings, 49 exited, and 115 reduced their stakes. Overall, institutions were selling and decreased their aggregate holdings by about 0.8% to approximately 353.6 million from 356.5 million.
Encouraging Estimates for 2021 and 2022
Analysts expect to see profits rise over the next two years, with increases in growth from 2021 to 2022 that could bring earnings to $13.05 per share in 2022, up from $10.59 for 2021. Revenue is predicted to reach $34.2 billion by December 2022, up from an estimated $29.7 billion in 2021. Also, a historical look at 13F metrics between 2002 and 2020 demonstrates that Netflix’s stock value continues to gain despite plateaus in total 13F shares held.
Several investment firms gave Netflix an Outperform rating while maintaining price targets at favorable levels. Credit Suisse Group upgraded the company’s rating to Outperform from Neutral, expecting that subscriber growth will normalize in the fourth quarter. Credit Suisse kept a $586 price target on the stock noting its strong position among competitors. Cowen & Co. maintained an Outperform rating with a $650 price target.
Overall, there is a positive outlook for Netflix’s streaming future. Netflix and its competitors have all been beneficiaries of pandemic lockdowns. However, beyond the lockdowns, Netflix has a great business model with a continued strong interest in content from its customer base, leaving its long-term growth and future revenue estimates appealing to investors.