Pacific Crest Securities said Thursday it expects Netflix Inc. to deliver strong long-term returns, but views the stock as more neutral at current levels as it awaits first-quarter earning scheduled for April 17. Analysts led by Andy Hargreaves wrote in a note that they expect the first-quarter results to be solid, but there is a risk that international expectations for the second quarter may disappoint. "A broader strategic effort may be necessary to drive appreciation beyond our $170 price target, said Hargreaves. Netflix shares closed Wednesday at $143.62. "Although we believe Netflix is extremely well positioned to expand into a variety of areas, timing of potential catalysts related to this is uncertain and seems unlikely to come in the near term," said the note. Netflix shares have gained 16% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 6%.
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