Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomemediaCan Netflix continue to outperform in 2014?

Can Netflix continue to outperform in 2014?

Netflix users and investors may have a hard time remembering that the company still mails out DVDs in small red packages, or the public relations disaster in 2011 that had subscribers leaving in droves. After sinking millions into original content and developing hit shows such as "House of Cards," Netflix became the past year's best performer on the .

Netflix stock increased nearly 300 percent this past year, and now investors must decide whether the media company's outperformance can carry into 2014. Raymond James' Aaron Kessler told CNBC on Tuesday that the stock's current levelstrading at around $365 on Tuesdayhas priced in much of the company's upcoming good news.

"We do think it's a little stretched near term," Kessler said on "Squawk on the Street," going on to reference Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' statement crediting the stock's rise to "euphoria." "We're not sure if it's quite euphoria, but at current levels you're trading at about 80 times earnings on 2014 numbers. So we think Netflix is pricing a lot of good news at current levels here."

Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Tuesday, Netflix announced a 50 percent raise for Hastings, and that it would test a tiered pricing service. The test would include a $6.99-a-month plan for one stream that displayed single definition video. And a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, across multiple devices.

(Read more: Netflix hikes CEO salary by 50% for 2014)

Todd Spangler, the New York digital editor at Variety, told CNBC on Tuesday that Netflix may also experiment with charging more for its original content. He cautioned that Netflix had learned its lesson in making big changes too fast when it botched a spinoff of its DVD service in 2011, and that it likes keeping its pricing plans simple because of that experience.

"They might want at some point to tier into different packages," Spangler said on "Squawk on the Street." "If they want to offer additional exclusive content they may decide to put that into a higher price offering. We might see them go that route."

The company has had plenty of good headlines to help boost the stock's profile in the final months of 2013. In October, an analyst from BTIG told CNBC that Netflix ratings rivaled major networks, and this month, the streaming media company announced a blockbuster deal with Disney for exclusive first-run movie rights.

Netflix also has several new original shows in the pipeline, including one from Disney's Marvel universe and a spinoff from AMC's hit series "Breaking Bad."

"I think they do look to accelerate their investment in original content," Kessler said. "I think the concern a couple years ago was they didn't have enough good content. Original content has gotten them over that concern. I think right now they have maybe a handful of shows. I think that maybe expands to a dozen shows a year."


Most Popular