Netflix: Coronavirus Cements The Company as Untouchable
April 27, 2020
Lead Tech Analyst
Last week in Forbes, I explained why Netflix will remain the leader in the OTT market.
The main reason is that it is a global media company, whereas the majority of OTT providers are domestic. The company outperforms globally with 70-87% of subscription OTT video service users in European English-speaking countries using the service and 55-64% of non-English speaking countries.
When analysts incorrectly believed Disney Plus and Apple Plus were “Netflix killers,” I had pointed out at that time that they were being myopic as to Netflix’s global lead.
Overall, OTT video is projected to grow to 6.4% of emerging market households, or 103 million, by the end of 2019. That is up from 19.4 million in 2014. By 2025, digital growth will add over 1 billion middle-tier consumers for telecom companies, which will help open up the market for OTT players. Netflix is well-situated to take advantage of this situation.
Netflix’s addressable market stands at 50-70% of the developed world and 20% of the developing world based off of 1.6 billion television households worldwide. This puts the blended rate at 35%, or 560 million on the low end and 720 million on the high end.
In order to achieve this number, broadband penetration must become a tailwind rather than a headwind in the regions where growth opportunities remain.
The company currently trades at a PE ratio of 85. Despite being high relative to most stocks, Netflix’s PE ratio has a five-year average of 212. EV/EBIT is also low in terms of it’s five-year average. Meanwhile, forward price-to-sales is revisiting early 2019 levels at 7.5 and the current price-to-sales is higher than the five-year average at 9.
Also, revenue increased 28% y-o-y to $5.77 billion. Net income more than doubled to $709 million from $344 million in the same period last year. Diluted EPS was $1.57 compared to $0.76 for the same period last year. The revenue beat analyst’s estimates by $22 million and EPS missed estimates by $0.07.
As for new clients, the company has added 15.8 million new paid memberships beating its own guidance of 7 million new users for the 1Q 2020. The total paid memberships at the end of the quarter were 182.86 million.
The only problem that the company has is debt. Netflix has had to pay huge bills for becoming a global streaming service. Long-term debt was $14.2 billion at the end of the 1Q 2020 and It announced yesterday its plan to raise $1.0 billion in debt. The company also spent $8.9 billion on content in 2017, $12 billion in 2018 and will pay a projected $15 billion in 2019.
Despite this, the criticism towards Netflix’s debt has now turned into a positive as the company has an arsenal of content at a time when many studios are closed for production.
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