Netflix Rises on Takeover Speculation Ahead of Earnings

  • Stock has been volatile around earnings reports, analyst says
  • Company’s subscriber growth missed forecasts in second quarter

Is Netflix the Next Takeover Target?

Netflix Inc. rose to its highest since May as investors speculated the online video service could be a takeover target ahead of quarterly earnings scheduled for release in two weeks.

Shares of the world’s largest paid online TV network rose as much as 4.9 percent to $103.39 in New York, their highest since May 31. The stock was down 14 percent this year through Sept. 30.

Investors could be speculating on recent takeover rumors, which have linked Netflix to Walt Disney Co., said Tony Wible, an analyst with Drexel Hamilton who recommends buying the stock. The shares are volatile around earnings, and investors could also be purchasing in anticipation of a windfall or buying to cover short sales before earnings are released on Oct. 17, he said.

Wible discounted the likelihood of deal, as did Pacific Crest Securities’ Andy Hargreaves. Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined to comment.

“You’ve seen some takeover chatter popping up, but Netflix hasn’t shown it wants to be acquired,” Wible said.

Investors will be looking closely for signs of further slowing in subscriber growth at Netflix after a weak second quarter. The company released its latest original series, “Luke Cage,” on Friday. It’s from the Marvel division of Disney, a big Netflix supplier.

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