Netflix To Reveal First Financials With OZ Numbers, Stock Set To Fall 85%
But don’t panic while the Australian subscription numbers are tipped to be good shareholders may be in for a shock tomorrow as Netflix delivers a 7 for 1 stock split resulting in the share value plummeting, subscriber numbers are tipped to rise to 65 million.
Research released by Roy Morgan last month suggested Netflix, which launched locally in March, was accessed by 1.03m Australians in May across 408,000 households.
According to the Wall Street Journal this is being done as a matter of convenience for potential retail investors following the stock’s tenfold rise since the start of 2012 to more than $700.
Analysts at Bespoke Investment Group point out that the July earnings release has been an unmitigated flop for Netflix shareholders over the past six years and the addition of Australian subscription numbers is not going to help the giant content streaming Company.
The stock has dropped by more than 10%, on average, the following session. By contrast, the other traditional time for theatrical releases, the fourth quarter, has meant blockbuster returns for the stock: average one-day gains of 23%.
Despite the spin being put on the brand analysts are not confident that the stock is a good long term investment.
Netflix are reporting earnings of 27 cents a share. But they had predicted $1.07 at the end of 2014 and $1.58 a year ago.
Analysts claim that anyone making a long-term investment, as opposed to say a short-term bet on more momentum-driven gains, will regret it.
Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn compared the latest season of Netflix’s original series “House of Cards” to Ambien.
Granted, there has been nothing sleep-inducing about Netflix’s stock: It was the best performer in the S&P 500 in the first half. While a dive into the footnotes of a company’s financials is more of a sedative, it is worthwhile in this case. Netflix’s increasingly negative free cash flow and mushrooming on- and off- balance-sheet-content obligations should set hearts racing.
The number that bullish investors are more likely to focus on, though, is predicted growth in total streaming customers. This is expected to come in around 65 million. That will put a more positive gloss on things-just don’t get taken in by the special effects analysts said.
The growth tipped by Roy Morgan takes the total number of Australians with access to Netflix to an estimated 1.42 million in 559,000 homes, according to the data.
The latest study, of 2,208 Australians aged over 14, also examined the subscription rates across internet service providers.
It found almost 17 per cent of customers, or 113,000 households, with fixed broadband through iiNet and its Internode, Westnet and Adam subsidiaries had Netflix in June, double the 8.4 per cent average.
Just over 100,000 households with Optus fixed broadband – 11.7 per cent of the telco’s customers – had Netflix subscriptions while 9.6 per cent of NBN broadband customers (37,000 households) had subscribed to the streaming service.
Both iiNet and Optus have been heavily promoting their Netflix packages, with iiNet offering unmetered content and Optus free six-month subscriptions. The Optus deal has since come to an end with Vodafone and Telstra said to be eyeing close partnerships with the US-based firm.iinet-netflix-screenshot-e1425363110268
The research also claimed that 142,000 households with broadband packages with Telstra have Netflix, the highest of any other ISP. Roy Morgan put the number down to Telstra’s “sheer market dominance”.
The number, which equates to 5.2 per cent of Telstra’s fixed broadband customers, comes despite the lack of any Netflix promotions by the telco, which is a part-owner of rival Presto through its involvement with Foxtel. However earlier this week the telco flagged it may look to form an alliance with Netflix in the coming months.
Roy Morgan Research general manager Tim Martin warned the take up of SVOD services for internet service providers was a “double-edged sword”.
“Rapid uptake can see internet traffic soar, with significant and targeted network investment required to keep pace with the demand,” he said.
The latest research appears to confirm the dominance of Netflix in Australia. According to the research carried out in May and released last month, Presto – the joint effort from Foxtel and Seven – had 97,000 users, just ahead of Nine and Fairfax Media’s joint venture Stan, with 91,000.
Quickflix had just 43,000 users, the Roy Morgan data suggested, although the struggling streaming service was quick to criticise the numbers.
“We don’t know how you can get anything sensible quoting millions of subscribers from a survey of only 2,000 respondents,” Quickflix chief executive Stephen Langford said. “Those respondents look like they include 14-years-old but you need a valid credit card (and therefore be 18-years-old) to subscribe.”
Research firm Telsyte last month claimed the number of SVOD subscriptions surged six-fold in the last six months from 315,000 in December 2014 to two million as of June 2015.