Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst

  • Netflix’s quarterly earnings may indicate the video streaming service is hitting a “maturity wall,” says Barton Crockett, senior analyst at B.Riley FBR.
  • Meanwhile Charles O’Shea, analyst at Moody’s, says growth in the future is going to come from international.

    Netflix’s less-than-stellar second quarter results may indicate the streaming video giant is hitting a “maturity wall,” B. Riley FBR media analyst Barton Crockett told CNBC on Tuesday.

    “They had a hiccup last night,” Crockett said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “What I think we have to watch out for is maybe the kind of high-wire act that these guys have been doing … quarter after quarter after quarter can’t continue forever.”

    Shares of Netflix were tanking more than 12 percent early Tuesday after the tech darling reported membership growth numbers that came in below analyst forecasts. But so far in 2018, the stock has doubled in value.

    The idea of a possible “maturity wall” speaks to whether Netflix might start being valued and traded on its actual financial performance rather than the idea that it can’t be beat.

    Netflix did report quarterly profit of 85 cents per share, beating estimates of 79 cents. Revenue was below what analysts had been expecting.

    Crockett said many content creators run into occasional “dry spells.”

    “If that’s the case, then [the stock] needs to be reset,” he said, giving the stock a fair value of $313 per share, which would represent another 10 percent decline from premarket levels.

    “The key is can they get their mojo back into gear in the quarter that we’re in right now, and create content that people care about more than they did last year,” Crockett said.

    Charles O’Shea, analyst at Moody’s, told CNBC in a separate interview that there’s an “arm race” happening in the content creating space. He said growth in the future is going to come from international.

    “There’s a battle going on for eyeballs and TV sets,” said O’Shea, who said he doesn’t cover Netflix’s stock but looks at the video streaming industry through the lens of Amazon, one that he does cover.

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