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Netflix to Reportedly Hire Activision CFO Spencer Neumann

Zacks Equity Research

Netflix NFLX has lately been in the headlines for hiring a number of top executives at big companies. The company may soon hire Activision’s ATVI chief financial officer (CFO) Spencer Neumann, per Reuters, and continue to strengthen its executive lineup.

Neumann who is expected to join Netflix in early 2019 is currently under an 18-month term with the gaming company. However, Activision recently filed a regulatory filing stating that it is firing Neumann for reasons unrelated to the company’s “financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.”

Prior to joining Activision, Neumann served as the CFO and executive vice president of global guest experience at Disney’s DIS Parks and Resorts. Even before this, Neumann was the executive vice president of Disney owned ABC and CFO of Disney Internet Group.

 We believe Neumann’s vast experience in the media industry will help the company to plan its original content production lineup. Notably, Neumann will join Netflix at a time when the company is looking for a finance head domiciled in Los Angeles to focus on production finance. The company aims to generate more in-house content and reduce dependence on licensed programming, per Reuters.

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Netflix, Inc. Quote

Can Netflix’s Originals Give it an Edge?

Netflix is focused on producing more originals and licensing original first-window content. Some of the popular series/movies in 2018 include Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Narcos, 22 July, Roma and Bird Box among others.

Additionally, Roma has been named the best movie of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle. It also won the Golden Lion Award. Moreover, the film leads the Oscar nomination list for Best Foreign Language Film.

Further, Netflix recently announced that more than 45 million accounts watched Bird Box in the first seven days after release. The company noted that the film recorded highest viewership for any film in the seven-day period.

The exact number of originals planned to be released in 2019 has not been disclosed. However, Netflix’s lineup looks impressive and includes a thriller (What/If), a sitcom (Mr. Iglesias), sci-fi/horror (Daybreak), dramedy (Russian Doll), animated series (Go! Go! Cory Carson), adult anime series (Rilakkuma and Kaoru), nature documentary (Our Planet), crime drama (Nowhere Man), a music competition (Rhythm + Flow) and others.

Additionally, Netflix has plans to order original shows from Africa in 2019. Moreover, the company has big plans for India, with the country’s upcoming slate for 2019 including 12 local language original series and 20 local language films.

Netflix’s focus on increasing original content is expected to help it remain a dominant player in the streaming market despite entry of players like Disney, AT & T and Sinclair Broadcast Group SBGI among others.

Netflix current carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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The Walt Disney Company (DIS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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