True earning growth (through increase subscription) is being masked by close to $800 million worth of buybacks.
The only winners are stock option holders (insiders).
Netflix Past-year spending on share repurchases (net of issuance): $358 million Percent of current stock market value: 6% Netflix (Nasdaq: ^NFLX - News) is benefitting from a confluence of factors. Strapped consumers are foregoing expensive entertainment in favor of movies at home. The financial woes of Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI - News) have hobbled that competitor. High-bandwidth Internet connections have become common and Netflix has made deals to stream its service through entertainment devices, including videogame consoles, so movie-streaming is no longer something that must be done on a computer. Sales for the company are expected to rise 29% this year and earnings per share, 34%. The stock price, at 45 times this year's earnings forecast, is terrifying to my tastes but is apparently attractive to management. According to Morningstar Equity Research, Netflix has spent $732 million on shares since 2006, despite generating just $220 million in free cash flow. In November, the company issued its first long-term debt and used part of the proceeds to buy stock. HERE ARE NETFLIX CASH NUMBERS NETFLIX: (Net of Debt)= $29 Mil ($.54 per share)= Cash and Cash Equivalents = Total Debt(Excl. Convert) Cash and Cash Equivalents =266 Mil Total Debt (Excl. Convert) = 238 Mil Source : Netflix 10-Q (Quarterly report) BOOK VALUE IS $2+??