Shares of streaming giant Netflix tanked over 6% to kick off the week—adding to already steep losses so far this year—after yet another Wall Street analyst grew more cautious about the company’s business prospects and warned that the stock could struggle for the rest of the year
Despite a rebound in recent weeks, Netflix’s stock was one of the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Monday, falling more than 6% to just under $226 per share.
After realizing gains of more than 40% since hitting a low point in mid-July, Netflix’s stock is likely to “underperform” the rest of the market through the end of 2022, according to Kenneth Leon, Research Director at CFRA Research.
He lowered his recommendation on the stock from a “hold” to a “sell” rating in a recent note to clients, slashing his price target by $7 to $238 per share, which was slightly lower than Friday’s closing levels.
“The key catalyst for Netflix—introducing new ad-pay subscription plans—may not be visible until 2023,” Leon points out, though he adds it could potentially help revive flat to lower subscriber growth so far this year.
While Netflix struggled with low operating and free cash flow in the most recent quarter, those metrics should improve, the CFRA analyst predicts, though ongoing challenges to the business include “inflation and lower discretionary consumer spending.”
The stock has lost more than 60% this year, with analysts growing more bearish in the past few months over the company’s slowing subscriber growth and as it faces increased competition from rival streaming services.