Technology StocksNetflix (NFLX)

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From: JakeStraw9/12/2017 11:48:24 AM
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Netflix, Inc. had its price target raised by analysts at Guggenheim from $190.00 to $210.00. They now have a "buy" rating on the stock.

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From: Glenn Petersen9/15/2017 11:17:58 PM
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Netflix aims to build the next great Hollywood studio

Lucas Shaw

Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb Mclaughlin in "Stranger Things 2."

If you're an actor or producer in Hollywood, it's hard to miss the flag Netflix has planted in Tinseltown. Its new 14-story tower is visible for miles in sprawling Los Angeles, topped by the company's red logo. The smell of popcorn greets visitors in the lobby.

Inside, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos is recruiting some of TV's most successful producers and writers. Since Netflix Inc. streamed its first original series "Lilyhammer" in 2012, the company has built one of the most valuable TV networks by buying shows from others. Now, with a $16 billion budget, Netflix aims to become the world's largest creator of entertainment, making programs just like current suppliers including CBS Corp.

Sunday's Emmy awards in Los Angeles offer Netflix a chance to burnish its credentials. The company has five programs nominated for top awards in drama and comedy, including the offbeat hit "Stranger Things," a low budget homage to Steven Spielberg and "The Goonies." The show is the first drama made in-house, Sarandos said in an interview, and a sign of more to come.

In recent weeks, Netflix has signed Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," to a long-term deal, hired an executive to develop original kids shows and bought a graphic novel publisher. Netflix Studios is producing about 75 percent of the company's new projects, according to Sarandos, the key architect of a lineup this year that includes 200 comedies, dramas, stand-up acts, kids shows and feature films.

"The old world was always a balancing act between money and creative freedom" said Chris Silbermann, Rhimes's agent at ICM Partners. "In today's world, it's possible to have both."

Sarandos, 53, first came to Hollywood as an executive for a video-rental chain -- nobody's idea of a mogul -- and joined Netflix in 2000. He's grown into the role and become a fixture in Hollywood, hosting political fundraisers with his wife Nicole Avant, the former ambassador to the Bahamas, at their home.

Sarandos spends much of his time on the road, signing deals with producers in Australia, Poland and Japan. In Hollywood, his primary job is hand-holding. When the temperamental creator of hit series meets with critics, Sarandos is there.

"Our part of the business is pretty high touch," he said. "People need to see your face a lot. People need to know you are interested in and engaged in their project."

Over the years, Sarandos' job has gotten easier. At first, no self-respecting creator or actor would work for a streaming service when they could win awards at HBO or make millions on a broadcast series. So Netflix made absurd offers. It pledged $100 million and made a two-season commitment for the David Fincher political drama "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey. Few TV networks order even one full season before shooting a pilot.

The show was a major success, as was the women's prison drama "Orange Is the New Black." Still, agents steered clients away from Netflix, fearful they'd never make as much money. The company doesn't disclose how many people watch its shows, a key metric in TV negotiations, and Netflix also demanded rights in perpetuity, limiting the value of reruns. "Seinfeld," the NBC hit comedy from the 1990s, has earned more than $3 billion in syndication.

But the hits and accolades kept coming for shows like "Daredevil," "Narcos" and "Master of None." Perhaps no show caught more people by surprise than "Stranger Things," a fantasy-horror series about a missing boy.

Creators Matt and Ross Duffer have said they were worried the show would fail because Netflix didn't market it. But it was an instant sensation, and many critics list its October return as the most anticipated show of the fall season.

With Rhimes, Netflix landed one of TV's most prolific producers. She's had a show on the air every year since 2005, when ABC first released "Grey's Anatomy." She's since made seven series for ABC and commandeered an entire night on the network's schedule. Yet having reached the highest heights at ABC, Rhimes also craved a new challenge, along with freedom from the constraints of broadcasting.

Sarandos, with a big smile and a big check, was ready.

The win had consequences. Days later, Disney said it would pull its movies from Netflix when their current deal expires at the end of 2018. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger also said Disney would create its own streaming service in 2019.

As the flap shows, traditional media companies were eager to take the money Netflix paid for their shows yet slow to see the risk streaming posed to their golden goose, pay TV. Thanks to Netflix, consumers now expect to be able to watch shows where and when they want. Analysts forecast the company's sales will hit $11.5 billion this year and pass both CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. in 2018.

Sarandos's shift from buying and licensing shows to making them in-house elevates the threat. The company has hired scores of staff from partners and rivals, and is being sued by 21st Century Fox for poaching employees.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose DreamWorks Animation was an eager partner with Netflix, gives the company high marks and calls Sarandos "a man of high integrity. They built their business in a thoughtful, considerate way." Yet Katzenberg also understands the rancor Netflix causes among media companies losing viewers to online TV.

While competing media companies now look more cautiously on Netflix, none are completely cutting ties. Disney is still makes Marvel TV shows for Netflix -- and gets paid handsomely. So do CBS, Fox and NBC. And Netflix won't stop licensing shows anytime soon. It can't yet make movies on the scale of Disney or the many animated series that DreamWorks Animation provided. It also needs to shop abroad for international audiences.

The biggest risk for Netflix is slowing growth in subscribers, who now exceed 104 million worldwide. The company needs to keep signups coming in to support its burgeoning budget. It continues to burn through cash and has regularly raised money to finance TV and movie-making despite pledges it will soon generate meaningful profit.

"The acceleration of content spend will start to moderate," Chief Financial Officer David Wells told investors at a conference this week.

For now, Netflix is spending money to make money, believing every new show will convince people to sign up. As Wells noted this week, Netflix is poised to become the first company to spend $20 million on a single episode of TV.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1588)9/16/2017 12:39:57 AM
From: Sr K
1 Recommendation   of 1723
Rhimes made clear in the press coverage August 14,


and elsewhere, that language and nudity were a factor in going with Netflix:

"I'm thrilled by the idea of a world where I'm not caught in the necessary grind of network television," Ms. Rhimes said. In addition, since Netflix doesn't have advertising, Ms. Rhimes doesn't need to worry about language and nudity. Netflix, she said, provides "larger creative freedom."

Other producers echo Ms. Rhimes's desire to be free of the demands of broadcast television. David E. Kelley, whose broadcast resume includes the hits "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," has more recently produced for HBO and Amazon Prime and said he has no desire to go back to a broadcast or basic cable network.

Bloomberg and Chicago Tribune (and Fox) have boxed themselves out, similar to how Blockbuster didn't know how to evolve.

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From: JakeStraw9/27/2017 4:01:48 PM
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Netflix Stock Gets Thumbs Up From Fresh Analyst Report

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From: ProThinker9/28/2017 10:23:57 PM
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Netflix looks overvalued at current levels based on the following indicators.


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From: Sr K10/5/2017 1:00:59 PM
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Netflix Increases Price 10% for Its Most Popular U.S. Plan

By Gerry Smith and Lucas Shaw

October 5, 2017, 10:07 AM EDT Updated on October 5, 2017, 12:52 PM EDT

> Shares rise on optimism higher price won’t hurt subscriptions

> Cancellations unlikely with service cheaper than Hulu, YouTube

Netflix Inc. is raising the price of its most popular U.S. service plan by 10 percent to $11 to help pay for the streaming giant’s ambitious TV and movie budget.

Netflix shares surged as much as 4.5 percent to an intraday record, a sign that investors are confident the company can keep expanding its subscriber base while charging more for its products.

Besides the higher rate for the most widely used package, Netflix boosted its premium plan 17 percent to $14. Both offer high-definition viewing and let families watch on multiple screens. The basic $8 plan will stay the same. The company will begin notifying current users on Oct. 19 and roll out the price hike over several months.


Netflix’s business is sensitive to even small price changes. The streaming-video provider announced an increase of $1 a month for its most popular streaming subscription in 2015 for new customers in the U.S., Canada and parts of Latin America. That caused subscriber growth to slow to a three-year low, the company said in July 2016, sending shares plummeting.

In 2011, the company lost 800,000 U.S. customers in one quarter after splitting its streaming and DVD services and effectively doubling the cost for some consumers.

Customers Willing

In both cases, Netflix ultimately was able to keep growing, proving customers are willing to pay more for its exclusive programming. The company ended the second quarter with almost 104 million users, with a majority outside the U.S.

The streaming service is already profitable in the U.S., and raising prices again at home will improve margins. A few foreign territories also produce profit.

Netflix subscribers are unlikely to cancel in droves after this latest price increase because the service offers more content now and is cheaper than many new rivals, analysts said.

“We believe that Netflix’s pricing power has increased materially over the past few years as their content slate and technology has improved,” Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note Thursday.

With new online TV services from Hulu and YouTube entering the market at about $40 a month, Netflix seems relatively inexpensive, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Geetha Ranganathan.

“I don’t think people are going to be as price sensitive,” she said. “Netflix has become a must-have for most people. The breadth and depth of the content is incomparable.”

Programming Spending

Netflix is spending $6 billion on programming this year, and will increase that to $7 billion next year. The company has declined to set a cap on how much it will spend to lure viewers away from other TV networks, and Chief Financial Officer David Wells has suggested the company may soon spend $20 million on a single episode of TV. The sixth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was reported to have cost $10 million per episode.

While Netflix reports a profit every year, it lost $2.1 billion in free cash flow in the 12 months ending June 30, due to spending on original series. Netflix will release more than 200 of its own pieces this year, ranging from TV shows and movies to documentaries and stand-up specials.

Shares of Los Gatos, California-based Netflix gained 4.1 percent to $192.03 at 12:42 p.m. in New York.

While the company has overcome resistance to raising prices in the U.S., the existing monthly fee limits its potential market in poorer parts of the world. Netflix expanded to most of Asia, Africa and the Middle East in January 2016, and has yet to sign up many customers in those regions.

The company would like to derive more than 80 percent of its customers from outside the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has said.

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From: FUBHO10/5/2017 1:21:40 PM
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Netflix is raising prices in US starting today: standard $9.99 plan will be $10.99/month; premium $11.99 plan will be $13.99/month; $7.99 plan does not change — Netflix will raise prices for its US subscribers starting Thursday, the company confirmed to Business Insider.

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From: hollyhunter10/8/2017 2:25:29 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1723
Bullish crossover in MACD and Stochastic oscillator. Looking for breakout at 198.92 for a run up to 232.34.

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From: JakeStraw10/12/2017 11:14:50 AM
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Netflix, Inc. had its price target raised by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from $200.00 to $230.00. They now have a "buy" rating on the stock.

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From: Tonnyman10/13/2017 4:59:40 PM
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Netflix stock is steadying at record levels, and has become the favorite among investors ahead of third quarter data. Looks like it's set to beat estimates once again.

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