Is NFLX still a buy?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Jan 09

Free After-Hours Update

NFLX has been struggling for six months to recover from its disappointing earnings report last summer. That said, it looks like the worst is behind it and the stock is well above its September lows. In fact, it doesn’t have far to go before it recovers all of last year’s selloff. Now that things are finally looking constructive for the stock, the bigger question is if it is still a buy at these levels.

I’ve been bullish on NFLX for a while. Last fall’s selloff was clearly overdone and it reached the point of being “so bad it was good.” Risk is a function of height and the lower we go, the less room we have to fall. Granted, this rule only applies to businesses with a bright future, but if we still believe in the fundaments of a company, every dip presents a buying opportunity. While panicked NFLX owners were busy abandoning their stock at steep discounts last summer, savvy investors were presented with a buying opportunity.

Without a doubt, NFLX was overbought last summer and even meeting expectations was going to be difficult. But once that bubble burst, everything turned around. By the time of the next earnings report, expectations were so low it was easy to beat them and that is why the stock popped. The recent tumble and sour sentiment made NFLX feel like an extremely risky buy, but it was actually one of the safest times to buy the stock in years. The thing to remember is the best opportunities come when other traders are nervous, not when everyone feels confident.

A lot can change in three months. Last quarter’s earnings confirmed NFLX isn’t headed out of business and the stock is dramatically higher. Today’s setup definitely nowhere near as attractive as it was three months ago. But an important thing to realize about the last six months, there has been a tremendous amount of selling in the stock. Nervous owners were abandoning ship and selling to confident dip buyers. Even though the stock is a lot higher than it was near the lows, the current ownership group is far more robust than it was when this selloff started.

NFLX is still a buy here, but as I already mentioned, higher prices mean this is a riskier buy. Trade an appropriate size so if the company reports dreadful earnings in two weeks, the loss isn’t unreasonably large. If earnings are bad, abandon ship and even consider shorting the stock. But if they meet expectations, or better yet, beat expectations, this stock will be making new highs in no time. One negative outcome versus two positive outcomes, I like those odds. There are no guarantees in the market, but this setup is attractive.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM $NFLX

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About the Author

Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and financial analyst that has successfully traded stocks and options for nearly three decades. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA and M.S. Marketing from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes engineering at Fortune 500 companies, small business consulting, and managing investment real estate. He is now fortunate enough to trade full-time from home, affording him the luxury of spending extra time with his wife and two children.