U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 30 mins

Netflix investors are fleeing the stock amid onslaught of streaming competition

McKenzie DeGroot
Segment Producer

Netflix (NFLX) is set to report third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, in what will be its final report just before rivals Apple (AAPL) and Disney (DIS) launch their streaming platforms.

And judging by the performance of its stock, investors seem to be voting with their feet. Netflix’s slumping stock indicates that Wall Street expects the competitive pressures on the streaming giant to intensify.

For Netflix’s third quarter, Bloomberg estimates earnings per share of $1.25 on revenue of $2.25 billion. The company has been fighting a battle of the bears since it reported Q2 earnings — falling over 20% after the company reported a rare loss of subscribers in the United States, and less than expected subscriber growth overseas.

Last month, the stock closed at its weakest level of 2019 at $254.54. Although it’s since recovered, the shares are still down nearly 12% year to date. On Tuesday, Netflix gained over 1% in choppy trading to float near $286.

The squeeze won’t let up anytime soon, with Apple set to launch its own streaming platform Apple TV+ November 1st, and Disney also paving its own path with Disney+ on November 12th. How much this will affect Netflix moving forward remains to be seen.

CHIANG MAI ,THAILAND - March 31, 2018 : Close up Netflix website in laptop screen. Netflix being popular internationally.


For the moment, analysts see the new services as complimentary to Netflix, with data suggesting few intend to cancel their service in favor of the newer players.

Piper Jaffray surveyed about 1,500 U.S. Netflix subscribers, looking to see how users feel about competing platforms. As of September, 72% said they will not be subscribing to Disney+, and 77% said they will not be subscribing to Apple TV+. Those that answered “yes” however, said they had no plans to cancel their subscriptions to Netflix when they add Apple or Disney.

Part of the reason is the sheer amount of cash the streaming giant is funneling into new programming. Back in April, the company said it would raise $2 billion worth of debt to fund new shows, for a content budget that reportedly tops $15 billion.

“Netflix is throwing so much money into producing new content that there might be something down the line that can fill the void of all those people who are no longer watching Game of Thrones,” Yahoo Finance reporter Brian Cheung said on Monday.

“The difference is that Disney has done the same thing, but they have the capital to do it. Whereas Netflix is going deep into the negative to try to finance all of this, which raises some questions for investors,” he added.

Separately, analysts at Wedbush Securities however see the roughly 900 million iPhone users as an opportunity for Apple to gain 100 million subscribers on its streaming platform in 3-4 years.

McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie

Read more:

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.