Is Netflix a Safe Investment?

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With shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) trading around $376, is NFLX an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Netflix is an Internet subscription service that streams television shows and movies. The company’s subscribers can watch unlimited television shows and movies streamed over the Internet to their televisions, computers, and mobile devices. In the United States, subscribers can also receive DVDs delivered to their homes. Netflix has revolutionized the television and movie industry with its services.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings strongly criticized major ISPs like AT&T (NYSE:T), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) over their alleged anti-net neutrality behavior in a recent post on the video streaming company’s blog. Hastings’s criticisms centered on the interconnection fees that Netflix is forced to pay some ISPs in order to ensure that its customers are able to get a quality video-streaming experience. “The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make,” wrote Hastings. “The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient. This weak net neutrality isn’t enough to protect an open, competitive Internet; a stronger form of net neutrality is required.”

As noted by The Verge, the “Verizon lawsuit” that Hastings referred to resulted in a federal appeals court ruling that struck down key segments of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. However, Hastings wants an even stronger form of net neutrality than what was previously covered by the FCC’s rules. “Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent (NASDAQ:CCOI), Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM), or Level 3 (NYSE:LVLT) to deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential subscribers,” noted Hastings. “Instead, they must provide sufficient access to their network without charge.”

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