Netflix’s original content success will boost its financial results, according to one Wall Street firm.
Barclays initiated coverage for Netflix shares with an overweight rating, predicting strong subscriber and revenue gains for the next few years.
“Netflix bull case at the core is relatively simple – if subscriber growth is faster than content cost growth over time, it could become one of the most successful media companies. We believe this is possible,” analyst Kannan Venkateshwar wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Our view is supported by Netflix’s global footprint and access to ~550mm broadband subs, demonstrated pricing power, growing content library, changing mix towards local content, and its increasing ‘stickiness’ due to multiple seasons of established originals.”
Venkateshwar started his price target for Netflix shares at $245, representing 15 percent upside to Wednesday’s close.
The analyst noted Netflix has roughly 5,800 titles on its streaming service and will spend $10 billion to $12 billion for content this year. He predicts the company will generate annual sales growth of 27 percent through 2019 from 2016.
“Inertia tends to benefit early movers and market leaders and is likely to help pricing growth and costs to potentially drive margin expansion over time,” he wrote. “In our opinion, in the next 3-5 years Netflix is likely to become the second biggest media company by revenue (ignoring studios and theme parks), next only to Disney.”
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this story.
Netflix could become the second-biggest media company behind Disney in 3 years, Barclays says