Netflix Up for Second Day as Icahn Predicts Further RiseMichael White
Netflix Inc., the world’s largest online-video service, advanced 16 percent at the close in New York, adding to yesterday’s 42 percent surge and pushing the stock to its highest since September 2011.
The shares have gained about 60 percent in the two days since the Los Gatos, California-based company posted an unexpected fourth-quarter profit and a larger-than-anticipated gain in customers. Netflix gained $22.70 to $169.56.
Billionaire Carl Icahn, with a 10 percent stake, added to the enthusiasm when he predicted further gains for the stock after the Jan. 23 earnings report. While down from the July 2011 record high of $298.73, Netflix has more than doubled since the investor disclosed his holdings on Oct. 31.
Coinstar Inc., owner of the Redbox DVD rental kiosks and a partner with Verizon Communications Inc. in the Redbox Instant streaming service, benefited from Netflix’s gain, rising 6.9 percent to $52.06 for the biggest gain since Aug. 16.
Investors may expect Coinstar to top fourth-quarter forecasts when it reports results on Feb. 7, said Eric Wold, an analyst with B. Riley & Co. in San Francisco. They also may be looking for improved performance in 2013, he said. Analysts are forecasting 76 cents a share in fourth-quarter profit, down from $1 a year earlier, the average of six estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
“People saw how Netflix moved and are expecting the same thing out of Coinstar,” Wold said in an interview.
Netflix, which faces increased competition from rivals such as Redbox, posted fourth-quarter net income of $7.9 million, or 13 cents a share, defying analysts’ forecasts of a loss. The company also signed more than 2 million new U.S. Internet subscribers, bringing the total to 27.2 million in the U.S.
“A major sea change is going on in viewership which very strongly favors Netflix,” Icahn said in an interview after the company posted its results.
“We still own every share we bought and we believe it’s still got tremendous potential,” he said.
Netflix finished the year with more than 33 million streaming subscribers worldwide and 8.22 million in the U.S. who get DVDs by mail.