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This Week in Netflix: Strong Q4 Sub Growth, 'Mudbound' Brings Oscar Nom

Strong Subscriber Growth Powers Netflix Q4

TWIN: Despite a sizeable price increase in the fourth quarter, domestic and international subscriber growth in the period outpaced analysts' expectations, with domestic customers up 1.98 million (vs. consensus estimates of 1.25 million) and international subscriber rolls up by 6.4 million (vs. expectations of 5 million).

MCN Take: Netflix's growth was in sharp contrast to traditional pay TV operators, like Verizon and Comcast, which saw their video customers dip in the fourth quarter.

See the full story atMCN.

Blige Receives Oscar Nom for Mudbound

TWIN: Netflix was clotheslined in its attempt to get a best picture nomination for its theatrical motion picture Mudbound, but it did manage to secure a nod for "Best Supporting Actress" for Mary J. Blige and three other nominations – Best Song (Mighty River); Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography. Two of its documentaries – Icarus and Strong Island – are vying for Best Documentary Feature. 

MCN Take: Blige has been widely praised for her performance in the movie, but Netflix has seen the Academy snub its theatrical releases in the past – the governing body has suggested that despite brief runs in theatres, the streaming video offerings are more suited for the Emmy Awards.

"It’s a glorious day for breaking boundaries." #Mudbound made history this year in each of its Academy Awards nominations.

— Mudbound (@mudboundmovie) January 29, 2018

See the full story at NPR.

Netflix Market Value Tops $100B

Riding high after strong Q4 earnings, Netflix stock surged Tuesday, Jan. 23 to $257.71 per share, up 13.2% ($30.13 each) and blowing past $100 billion in market cap for the first time. The stock has continued to climb since breaking the $100 billion barrier – it closed at $274.60 on Jan. 26.

MCN Take: A healthy market cap usually points to good news for debt holders – a company's equity value usually has to evaporate entirely before its debt is affected – and having a $100 billion safety net doesn't hurt. That wasn't lost on Netflix execs, who plan to continue to tap the high-yield markets to fund growth, adding in their letter to shareholders, "High yield has rarely seen an equity cushion so thick." 

See the full story at WSJ.

Altice Integrates Netflix App in Altice One Set-Tops

TWIN: Altice One was launched in November and is modeled after the La Box product its European parent has offered in France. Altice USA and its predecessor Cablevision Systems has been a pioneer in offering set-top connectivity to SVOD services like Netflix and Hulu.

MCN Take: Altice One seems to be taking the guesswork out of a Netflix subscription– current customers of both services will be prompted to sign in when accessing Netflix on the platform for the first time. Altice One customers without a Netflix membership will be able to sign up for Netflix service directly through Altice One and the operator also is preparing to introduce a remote that features a Netflix button. 

See the full story at MCN.

Analyst Says Netflix Peak Still Years Away

TWIN: MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson raised his 12-month price target on Netflix to $320 from $245 on Monday, adding that the SVOD pioneer still has a long runway of growth ahead.

"While there is certainly a bullish sentiment surrounding the stock, we think that many investors still underestimate the Netflix story particularly with respect to the penetration opportunity around the world," Sanderson wrote. "We think that continued subscriber momentum, both domestic and international will lead to a rethinking of earnings power."

MCN Take: Netflix shares are up nearly 93% in the past 12 months, compared to 25% for the S&P 500 and 32% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Netflix beat analysts' Q4 consensus subscriber growth estimates handily, suggesting that recent price increases are having little or no effect.

See the full story at Market Watch.