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Pro Analysis

Analyst compares Netflix stock to Jesus: 'You either believe or you don't'

Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, featured in "House of Cards" on Netflix
Source: David Giesbrecht | Netflix
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, featured in "House of Cards" on Netflix

Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger initiated coverage of Netflix with an outperform rating, calling shares of the streaming company a "polarizing" story.

Just how polarizing?

Juenger writes in the Thursday note:

"A wise investor once remarked to us: 'If Jesus were a stock, he'd be Netflix. You either believe or you don't.' We think that analogy perfectly captures investor attitudes on this stock. In fact, we would take it even farther. Like any belief based on faith, we don't think there are any arguments based on currently observable, factual evidence that could be made to convert believers into non-believers, or vice-versa. There is no new mathematical algorithm we can put forth, no new way of looking at churn or forecasting content spend or ARPU, that will incontrovertibly solve the debate."

"Our call on the stock, then, depends mostly on our view of: how big a deal is SVOD, generally, and how big a part of SVOD will Netflix be, specifically? Our answer is: very big, and very big," says Juenger.

His 12-month price target of $178, is the highest on Wall Street for Netflix.