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The FAANG team of mega cap stocks developed hefty returns for investors during 2020.

The team, whose members include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) benefited greatly from the COVID 19 pandemic as men and women sheltering into position used their devices to shop, work and entertain online.

Of the past 12 months alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix saw a 61 % boost, and Google’s parent Alphabet is up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are actually wondering if these tech titans, enhanced for lockdown commerce, will provide very similar or perhaps much more effectively upside this season.

By this particular number of five stocks, we are analyzing Netflix today – a high-performer during the pandemic, it is now facing a unique competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The company and the stock benefited from the stay-at-home atmosphere, spurring demand for its streaming service. The inventory surged aproximatelly 90 % from the minimal it hit on March 16, until mid October.

NFLX Weekly TTMNFLX Weekly TTM
However, during the past 3 months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s main rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained a lot of ground in the streaming fight.

Within a year of its launch, the DIS’s streaming service, Disney+, today has greater than eighty million paid subscribers. That is a tremendous jump from the 57.5 million it reported in the summer quarter. Which compares with Netflix’s 195 million members as of September.

These successes by Disney+ arrived at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in its subscriber development. Netflix in October discovered that it added 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net foundation, short of the forecast of its in July of 2.5 million brand new subscriptions for the period.

But Disney+ is not the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division is within the midst of an equivalent restructuring as it concentrates on the new HBO Max of its streaming platform. As well, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is actually realigning its entertainment businesses to give priority to its new Peacock streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from rising competition, what makes Netflix more weak among the FAANG team is the company’s tight cash position. Given that the service spends a great deal to develop the extraordinary shows of its and shoot international markets, it burns a good deal of money each quarter.

to be able to improve its cash position, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan during the very last quarter, the second time the company has done so in as many years. The move could prove counterproductive in an environment where individuals are losing jobs and competition is warming up. In the past, Netflix priced hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber development, particularly in the more-mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan previous week raised very similar concerns in his note, warning that subscriber advancement might slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with various other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) confidence in the streaming exceptionalism of its is actually fading somewhat even as two) the stay-at-home trade may be “very 2020″ even with a bit of concern over how U.K. and South African virus mutations can have an effect on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12 month cost target of his for Netflix stock is actually $412, aproximatelly twenty % beneath its current level.

Bottom Line

Netflix’s stay-at-home appeal made it both one of the greatest mega hats and tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the business enterprise must show it is the high streaming option, and that it is well positioned to protect its turf.

Investors seem to be taking a break from Netflix inventory as they wait to see if that will happen.

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