SunTrust upgrades Netflix, says buy on the dip because of India opportunity


SunTrust says Netflix shares will rise due to its success in international markets.

The firm raised it rating for Netflix shares to buy from hold, saying its web search trend analysis is pointing to strong subscriber results for the company’s third quarter.

“The stock pullback post the 2Q subs miss (which we attribute to ’13 Reasons Why’ and World Cup, as previewed) leaves us with ~20% potential upside from current levels,” analyst Matthew Thornton said in a note to clients Thursday. “More important, our India study shows NFLX initial original series resonating quite well with interest in NFLX rising (including relative to competitors) into more originals coming.”

Netflix shares are up 2.2 percent Friday.

The analyst lowered his price target for Netflix shares to $410 from $415, representing 21 percent upside to Thursday’s close.

Thornton cited the firm’s analysis of web search trends, which implied Netflix will add 5 million additional international subscribers in its current quarter versus the Wall Street consensus of 4.5 million.

In its second-quarter financial results last month, the company said it added 5.15 million memberships, missing the Wall Street consensus of 6.34 million. As a result, Netflix shares are down 13 percent since the end of June.

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