Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) rose as much as 5.8% on Friday, driven by a rosy analyst note. The streaming video veteran's stock reached this peak near 2:20 p.m. EDT.
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Analyst Matthew Thornton from SunTrust's financial advisory arm upgraded Netflix to a "Buy" today, even as he reduced the stock's target price from $415 to $410 per share. Thornton's checks indicate that the disappointing subscriber additions in the second quarter may have been related to the soccer World Cup taking eyeballs away from Netflix and other entertainment providers. The firm's research shows subscribers flocking back to non-soccer services, including Netflix, after the event's closing ceremony.
Thornton says that the Indian market is embracing Netflix's original content, giving the company a foot in the door in the world's second-largest consumer market. Netflix's willingness to experiment with cutting Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) out of its billing processes and raising prices in Japan also shows Thornton that the business probably is performing well -- any sane management team would stay away from these risky moves if subscriber additions weren't showing a healthy trend.
Share prices have now bounced 13% above their recent lows over the last week but remain 16% below July's all-time highs. Netflix's stock is also trading 13% below SunTrust's reduced target price.
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Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Netflix. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.