What to Look for in Netflix Earnings from Mobile Gaming to Expanding Content

Streaming giant Netflix report third quarter earnings reports quarterly earnings on October 18 after the market close. With the tech wreck of 2022 $NFLX has endured a volatile year. Over the past twelve months, NFLX stock has traded in an extreme range between $162.71 and $700.99. Heading into earnings it trades at $248.29, +18.29, +7.95% the day prior. FactSet analyst estimates provide an EPS consensus of $2.14 and a sales consensus of $7.83bn

Netflix Inc NASDAQ: NFLX · Report After Close Tuesday

Netflix Earnings Preview

Q3 2022 earnings release after close 4:00 p.m.; conference call to follow

  • Consensus EPS Estimates: $2.17
  • Consensus Revenue Estimates: $7.85B
  • Earnings Insight: Netflix has risen above EPS estimates in 5 of the past 8 quarters and beating revenue expectations in 6 of those reports. BUT when it misses it misses big.
  • NFLX has a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 21.76.
  • NFLX price-to-book-value (P/BV) is 5.42.
  • NFLX stock does not offer a dividend.
  • NFLX stock traded between $162.71 and $700.99 over the last year. Today it trades at around $246.08 +16.08 (+6.99%) -391.89 (-61.43%) over the past year

It all Changed for Netflix in 2022

Netflix this year saw heavy subscriber losses in the first quarter sending the stock down nearly 40% on the day after the report. In its Q1 report, Netflix shocked investors by reporting its first global net add subscriber decline in over a decade and guided to an even larger decline in Q2. NFLX management admitted that it misread the impact of the pandemic. COVID boosted subscriber growth a lot in 2020 and 2021. At the time, NFLX thought those results mostly represented pull-forward demand. Netflix conceded that it “believes most of [its] slowing growth in 2021 was due to the COVID pull forward.”

After years of downplaying the threat of competition, NFLX has changed its tune in the last two quarters and has admitted that competition has had an impact. $NFLX had said it doesn’t see Disney’s new service Disney+ with content from Fox Networks, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars hurting. The last two earnings reports suggest that the streaming market has become saturated, especially in the US. Subscribers will become harder to get and keep.

Investor focus should shift from net add numbers to overall revenue and cash generation. Netflix enjoys huge advantages with a large subscriber base that has long been the envy of tech land. Key Competitors include, Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) Walt Disney (DIS), Paramount Global (PARA), Roku (ROKU), and Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD).

Since then, analysts have revised EPS estimates down 29 times and revenue down 36 times. Netflix is going through a transition right now. It was early to the streaming game, dominated and defined it for years.

You can clearly see its success has drawn others and now the competition is intense. It is also working out an ad tier and figuring out how to combat account sharing. The business model will look different in 2023.

Ad Supported Streaming

One of the big changes’ analysts want to catch up on the conference call is the rollout of ad-supported streaming business is viewed positively by J.P. Morgan as the firm forecasts $2.7B in revenue from the business by 2026. J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, who has a neutral rating and $240 price target on Netflix (NFLX) said the new offering could help NFLX generate as much as $2.7B in revenue just from the U.S. and Canada over the next few years.

“The [U.S., Canada] ad-supported tier could generate overall revenue of $1.15B in 2023 and $4.6B in 2026, including incremental revenue of $350M in 2023 and $2.3B in 2026, which would drive 2% upside to our current 2023 estimates and 13% upside to 2026,” Anmuth wrote in a note to clients.

This would suggest Netflix has 7.5M advertising-supported subscribers by the end of next year, an incremental boost of 5%, generating some $600M in revenue. By 2026, that number could surge to 22M subscribers, accounting for a 19% incremental boost to Netflix’s (NFLX) subscriber count in the region, generating $2.65B in sales.

The plan is to launch this tier around the early part of 2023. NFLX will likely start in a handful of markets where ad spend is significant. The company believes advertising can fuel substantial incremental membership (through lower prices) and profit growth (through ad revenues).

The other big topic is account sharing

  • The first model is pay a little bit more to add a member and share with those additional members.
  • The second model is pay a little bit more to add an additional home and share the account with the additional homes.
  • NFLX expects to roll it out in 2023.
  • NFLX is currently testing strategies in some Latin America countries.

NFLX views account sharing as a significant factor in its performance. NFLX estimates that over 100 mln households are sharing. In NFLX’s view, it is wonderful that those users love the service, but NFLX knows that it needs to monetize their usage and doing so will be a key near-term focus.

Netflix Games

Netflix confirmed earlier in the year that it is in the early stages of expanding into games, building off of earlier endeavors around interactivity with “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and the company’s “Stranger Things” videogames.

“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix executives said in a letter to shareholders

“Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series.” “We really see this as an extension of our core product offering” and not as a separate profit pool, Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters said. He characterized the gaming push as a multiyear effort that will start “relatively small” and “continuously improve, based on what members tell us what is working.”

We look forward to how this plays out. Netflix sees a chance to differentiate its gaming experience, Peters added, around its vast library of intellectual property and will focus on mobile devices and TV set-top boxes.

“There is a rich opportunity to improve quality-of-game experience,” one that lets fans of Netflix’s original content “go further and put their [gaming] energies there.” “We are a one-product company with a bunch of supporting services,”

Netflix co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said during the video call. Diversifying into games was inevitable, given the brutal competition with media giants such as Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Apple Inc. (AAPL), AT&T Inc. (T), and slackening growth of new net paid additions later this year for Netflix, which also missed Q2 earnings estimates.

Gaming Challenges

It could lead to a confrontation with Apple.

Netflix would need approval from the App Store to stream multiple games from its mobile app on iPhones and iPads. Apple already quashed attempts by Microsoft Corp. Corp. (MSFT) and Facebook Inc. (FB) to do so.

A major component of Epic Games Inc.’s high-profile antitrust lawsuit against Apple is that App Store has restrictions that aren’t tenable for some developers, creating a lopsided competitive landscape for Apple Arcade, a videogame subscription service available on iOS. Apple allows services that stream movies to offer them all in a single app, but forces services that stream games to separate each game for individual listing and review.

“I can use Netflix with a native app and I can see lots of different movies or TV shows or whatever. Is it that you didn’t want to use a subscription model?” a confused Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers asked at one point during the three-week Apple-Epic trial in May.

Executives from Microsoft and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) testified about the technological hoops they were made to jump through, at Apple’s request. Lori Wright, vice president of business development at Microsoft, said the software giant spent four months discussing with Apple how to launch xCloud as a native app, only to claim Apple demanded Microsoft, Nvidia, and others list cloud games as separate apps.

Submitting Xbox games one-by-one was too onerous, Wright said, forcing Microsoft to resort to making a web app. This not only represented a technological hurdle for Microsoft, she said, but also inconvenienced consumers. Users aren’t used to installing apps from the web on their iPhones.

“There are less controls over the streaming, so you could argue in some ways it’s worse” than a native app, said Aashish Patel, Nvidia’s director of product management.

Netflix could face the same restrictive scenario

Changing Structure and Pricing?

Netflix’s entry into gaming could change everything up according to analysts.

AB Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said in a July 15 note

“One option/solution/path Netflix could take would be to segregate video games into the Premium tiers of service,” Juenger said. “For example, if you want videogames, maybe you need to subscribe to the Premium (4S) Plan. If you don’t want them, you can subscribe to the Basic (1S) or Standard (2S) Plan.

That pricing strategy would require Netflix to deviate from a core product tenet they have so far held sacred, which is that all Netflix members have access to all content (that’s available in their market).” “Another option Netflix could choose would be to characterize the games as ‘free-to-play,’ as for so many successful videogames,” Juenger wrote. “The trick here is to ensure subscribers who don’t want videogames believe that they really aren’t’ paying’ for them.”

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne in a July 16 note.

“The risks and points of caution reflect the lack of success other even larger consumer tech platforms have had despite significant effort and investment… To succeed in gaming will require a significant shift in resources and priorities for the company.” Swinburne points to the struggles of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)(GOOGL) in expanding their cloud-based game distribution platforms, Luna and Stadia, respectively, because of “a lack of unique content offerings and technology limitations.”

Netflix Competitors

Netflix now counts TikTok among its rivals.

“TikTok’s growth is astounding, showing the fluidity of internet entertainment,” the company wrote to shareholders. “Instead of worrying about all these competitors, we continue to stick to our strategy of trying to improve our service and content every quarter faster than our peers. Our continued strong growth is a testament to this approach and the size of the entertainment market.”

Walt Disney rolled out its much-awaited streaming service Disney+ last year, intensifying competition in the streaming arena. Armed with a huge repository of original content, gathered after the recent acquisition of the media assets of 21st Century Fox (FOX), Disney is all set to change the on-demand video streaming landscape.

Amazon (AMZN) Prime Video, AT&T (T) Time Warner, and Hulu have been ramping up their technical infrastructure and content portfolio, targeting a slice of Netflix’s market share.

“Questions have included expected announcements from Apple/Disney (as a possible reflection of future competition), pricing power vs. churn (impact on [long-term] margins vs. [short-term sub dynamics) and what content slate investments might yield against forward growth.

Content Library and Costs

Walt Disney Co. $DIS pulled its films off Netflix at the end of 2020 020 end and launched its own streaming service in 2019 that will become the exclusive home for Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films.

Millarworld 1

Netflix has made moves on this front with it’s First Acquisition With Comic Publisher Millarworld getting aggressive back in 2018. From there content costs have only gone up sharply.

Source: NetFlix, TradersCommunity,

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