Bull Notes Flood Netflix Stock After Sell-Off

Piper Jaffray underscored its "overweight" rating, while UBS lifted its NFLX price target

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 11, 2018 at 10:03 AM
Updated on Oct 11, 2018 at 10:18 AM

The shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) plunged 8.4% during Wednesday's tech rout, marking their biggest one-day drop since July 19, 2016. Nevertheless, analysts are staying upbeat toward the FAANG stock, with several issuing bullish notes overnight.

For starters, Piper Jaffray reiterated its "overweight" rating and $420 price target for NFLX -- a 29% premium to last night's close -- saying trends signal potential upside in third-quarter international subscriber growth. The analyst in coverage also suggested the streaming service has room to raise prices. Elsewhere, UBS raised its Netflix price target to $365.

This optimism is nothing new for analysts, considering 22 of 33 maintain a "buy" or better rating on NFLX stock. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $382.07 stands at a roughly 17% premium to current trading levels.

Options traders have been bullish on Netflix, too. While the October 340 call and put are home to peak front-month open interest of about 16,000 contracts apiece -- likely used to initiate a spread back in August -- the October 360 call has seen one of the biggest increases in open interest over the past two weeks. Data from the major options exchanges confirms buy-to-open activity here, indicating call buyers expect NFLX to break back above $360 by expiration at the close next Friday, Oct. 19.

The lifetime of these front-month options includes Netflix's third-quarter earnings report, due after the close next Tuesday, Oct. 16. NFLX stock fell 5.2% after the streaming giant unveiled a big miss in subscriber growth. The FAANG stock has shed another 13.1% since then, but is up 1.1% this morning at $329.47, after finding a foothold near its 200-day moving average in yesterday's sell-off.

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