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Netflix (NFLX)
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Investors Snap Up Shares of Netflix in Initial Nasdaq Trading

NEW YORK -- It's amazing what dropping the "dot-com" from your name can do for an initial public offering.

Netflix Inc. , an online entertainment company that, when known as NetFlix.com had to once cancel its IPO, opened higher initial trading Thursday.

Shares of the Los Gatos, Calif. , company opened on the Nasdaq Stock Market at $16.19, 7.9% above the $15 price set on its IPO of 5.5 million shares. Near midday, the shares traded even higher at $16.95.

The offering, led by Merrill Lynch & Co . Inc. (MER), priced at the high end of price talk of $13 to $15 a share, an unusually aggressive pricing in what has been a tough market for unprofitable technology IPO hopefuls.

"To price at the top of the range, we were very fortunate," said Reed Hastings, the company's chief executive, in an interview.

Netflix is the country's best-known online entertainment subscription site, allowing users to rent three DVDs a month for a monthly subscription charge of $ 19.95.

One of Netflix's biggest advantages is its subscription model, said George Nichols, an analyst with Morningstar.com in Chicago .

"These ongoing billing relationships, rather than one-time purchases, have annuity-like characteristics that provide a steady revenue stream," he said.

It also has some growth trends in its favor, Mr. Nichols said. "As far as consumer technologies go, DVD is still relatively young, and many new DVD players are being sold as the mass market fully adopts it."

The business isn't yet profitable, though the company has been narrowing its losses. In the first quarter, Netflix logged $30.5 million in revenue, for a $ 4.5 million net loss. In the comparable period in 2001, it lost $20.6 million on $17.1 million in revenue.

For Netflix, the offering marked a success after failing to come to market two years ago. Netflix originally filed to raise $86.3 million through Deutsche Bank in April 2000 , but the offering was withdrawn three months later as the IPO market began its long, dry period, one that still exists.

The offering was revived in March of this year, but with new terms. The company filed to sell as much as $115 million through Merrill Lynch, though, in the end, the offering raised $82.5 million.

Netflix's Mr. Hastings said he believes that the proceeds now will "give pause to our competitors" and allow the company to more aggressively market its services free to potential customers. Nine of 10 people who receive Netflix free initially end up subscribing, he said.

The challenge to the business is twofold, Mr. Hastings said. Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) recently said it would get into the mail-rental business, putting it into direct competition with Netflix.

The other, Mr. Hastings said, was getting people to feel comfortable renting DVDs online and receiving them through the mail, a process that "just sounds odd to people until they try it," he said.

Netflix featured one of the odder risks to its business in the offering documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission: the U.S. Postal Service. If the Postal Service does indeed raise rates this summer, it "will adversely affect our gross profit if we elect not to raise our subscription rates to offset the decrease."

Customer satisfaction might also take a hit if the Post Office stops Saturday delivery and customers can't get their DVDs in a timely fashion, Netflix

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14794 Reasons I Prefer Disney Over Netflix seekingalpha.comKrigannie-5 hours ago
1478 What do you do when you don't like how the table is set? House of Cards wKrigannie-8 hours ago
1477International subscriber growth is the most important metric here imho. And oh bIntelim-yesterday
14765 Key Takeaways From Netflix's Terrific Q4 Earnings Report investors.comJakeStraw-yesterday
1475Longs don't care about anything else other than subscribers...it’s the breadmore100-yesterday
1474Netflix Releases Fourth-Quarter 2016 Financial Results finance.yahoo.com The stJakeStraw-Wednesday
1473Jerry Seinfeld inks production deal with Netflix, brings over 'Comedians in Sr K-Wednesday
1472Holy crap batman - .30 would be a blow out. Stay calm, stay calm. :-)d[-_-]b-Sunday
1471IN THE NEWS: NFLX "Whisper Number" .30drmicrocap-Sunday
1470Netflix also apparently produces animes so I'm not surprised.Intelim-last Saturday
1469All-time high 133.93, about 15 minutes before the close. Volume 10.502 million.Sr K-last Friday
1468Just saw this on on YouTube [youtube video] Wow. Netflix now produces these PixKrigannie-last Friday
1467Saw most of them, the rest is on my radar! Good compilation.Intelim-January 10
1466I can already see profit-taking take place this week and stock falling down backKrigannie-January 10
1465Netflix: Here Comes The Tipping Point seekingalpha.comKrigannie-January 6
1464All-time high, 133.88. There also was real estate news pre-market: REUTERS 9:1Sr K-January 6
1463from another thread 11 Great Movies From 2016 That You Can Stream On Netflix (ASr K-January 5
1462Being such a slowpoke, just finished watching "Orange is the New Black"Intelim-January 5
146152-week high 129.71Sr K-January 4
1460This is considerably above the estimates. Although they've beaten so many prIntelim-12/29/2016
1459This stock can go either way. Resistance: 129.29, immediate support 122.97 [gramore100-12/29/2016
1458In The News: NFLXdrmicrocap-12/26/2016
1457I'd say it is. It's all about international growth now.Intelim-12/21/2016
1456 Is Netflix Still A Buy? seekingalpha.comKrigannie-12/21/2016
1455That's the thing, I don't watch films on my PC. I usually just turn on NIntelim-12/19/2016
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