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Netflix Streams Breaking Bad Finale

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Netflix Inc. (NFLX) recently started streaming AMC’s much anticipated series Breaking Bad 5: Part A, which premiered on Jun 5. Netflix is also scheduled to stream Part B of the popular and critically acclaimed series, which premieres on Aug 11, 2013.

Netflix already streams the first four seasons of the series and the addition of the final season is expected to boost traffic. In the recently concluded second quarter, Netflix’s total streaming subscriber base increased 36.3% from the year-ago quarter to 37.6 million.

Netflix’s diversified offerings help it to stand out among other content streaming providers such as Amazon (AMZN), HBO and Hulu. The company continues to enter into partnerships with leading studios, publishers and production companies to boost its content library.

Recently, Netflix entered into a partnership deal with Fox Television Studios to finance The Killing, a television crime drama, after its production was cancelled by AMC in 2012. The company also extended a multi-year partnership deal with CBS Corp (CBS), which will enable it to stream new titles such as L.A. Complex, 4400, and CSI: NY in addition to the existing shows.

Moreover, Netflix renewed an expanded deal with PBS Distribution. The deal will help the company to stream British murder mystery The Bletchley Circle, kids pre-school show Super Why!, children shows Wild Kratts, Caillou and Arthur, documentaries such as Prohibition and Central Park Five and past seasons of non-fiction series like Nova and Secrets of the Dead.

These partnerships have not only expanded Netflix’s content portfolio but also helped it to target different sections of the audience. They have also helped Netflix to venture into different genres like comedy, political thrillers, autobiographies and horror.

This consumer-friendly strategy has helped Netflix to garner a significant subscriber base within a short span of time. We note that Netflix’s paid streaming subscriber base (both domestic and international) increased 38.6% on a year-over-year basis to 35.6 million.

To further improve customer engagement, Netflix recently announced that it will allow users to add up to five personal profiles to his or her account at no extra cost. The feature will be available on almost all devices (starting from iPads to latest smart-TVs) and the latest profiles can be linked with the user’s Facebook (FB) account.

We believe that this new feature will further boost traffic going forward. Netflix’s ability to cater to different sections of its subscriber base through this new feature will further boost top line going forward.

We believe that strong growth in paid streaming subscriber base will help Netflix to offset the higher cost of content acquisition, which it anticipates will increase further from the upcoming fourth quarter.

However, in comparison to its peers such as Amazon, who have diversified revenue and cash flow streams, Netflix relies solely on streaming for future growth. This remains a major concern as its DVD business continues to lose subscribers. Nonetheless, we believe that improving content and international expansion will drive growth going forward.

Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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