Netflix Gains as Bearish Analyst Says to Buy the Shares

Netflix Inc., the largest subscription-video service, rose as much as 4.3 percent after a Wall Street analyst reversed his negative view of the company and recommended buying the shares for the first time.

The Los Gatos, California-based company rose 2.7 percent to $100.31 at 1:38 p.m. in New York and after reaching $101.94. Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, told investors today the shares may rise to $129, citing improving fundamentals and few signs of a threat from competition. He had rated it “sell” or “hold” since 2007.

In December, Netflix signed an exclusive agreement to stream new Walt Disney Co. releases, including those from Pixar and Marvel, beginning in 2016. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said then that the company would bid for Sony Corp. studio content. The company also built a “content delivery network” to help improve the streaming quality of Netflix movies and television shows across Internet networks.

“Recent developments, including the Disney deals, the potential for a Sony deal, and the new CDN platform, are changing how studios, cable companies and investors approach the company,” Wible wrote in the research note.

Competitive threats from streaming rivals such as Inc., Hulu LLC and Redbox Instant by Verizon haven’t materialized to the extent he had feared, Wible said.

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