Netflix Inc. shares edged down with the broader market on Thursday, after Raymond James raised its stock price target by $100 to $465 on strong momentum for its international business and continued growth in the U.S. The new price target is 12% above its current level and comes after a slew of other bullish notes and price target increases this week. “Media consolidation and the shift to more over-the-top (OTT)/direct-to-consumer models plays to Netflix’s strengths (e.g. personalization, year round quality programming, service reliability) and may provide a driver for price increases over time,” analyst Justin Patterson wrote in a note. Raymond James is expecting Netflix to gain market share around the globe and to retain customers thanks to the depth of its library and pricing power. The company enjoys “material margin expansion potential,” and is well-positioned for long-term per-share earnings growth and free cash flow generation, he wrote. The company could have more than 280 million global subscribers by 2024, given the success of shows like the German series “Dark,” which had 90% of its viewership outside Germany. Shares were down 0.4% in early trade Thursday, but have gained 116% in 2018 so far and set successive records. The stock is trading at $415.12, after passing the $400 level for the first time earlier this week. The S&P 500 has gained 3.2% in 2018.
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