Why Netflix's Shares Got Crushed
Jul 25th 2012 3:42PM
Updated Jul 25th 2012 3:46PM
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of online movie maven Netflix (NAS: NFLX) were getting two thumbs down from investors today, falling as much as 26% in intraday trading after the company reported second-quarter earnings.
So what: Unlike most companies, beating quarterly Wall Street estimates just isn't enough for Netflix. Though revenue of $889.2 million -- up 13% from last year -- edged out the average estimate of $888.9 million and earnings per share of $0.11 was easily ahead of the $0.05 expectation, investors couldn't sell shares fast enough. The reason for the rush to the doors was the company's admission that meeting its user sign-up goals for the year will be "challenging."
Now what: Surprised at the crazy volatility? You probably shouldn't be. There are few stocks on the market right now that are more high-octane than Netflix. Mere hints of good news send the stock to the rafters, while even a whiff of a speed bump sends it tumbling. Based on current analyst estimates -- which could, of course, change after this earnings release is digested -- Netflix's stock is trading at nearly 30 times expected 2013 earnings. That valuation means that investors will continue to rabidly look for signs that the company's snappy growth will continue. So if you're investing in Netflix... you might want to grit your teeth and hang on tight.
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