Netflix Stock to ‘Get Crushed’: Pachter
Netflix is no HBO, and its stock is set to take a beating, Wedbush Managing Director Michael Pachter said Thursday.
At issue is the streaming video company's much-heralded "House of Cards" series, which may not be the long-term catalyst some believe.
"I think Netflix has always been honest, but I think that they have been less than forthright about their original content, and I think that they've spun the development of original series as if they are the next HBO," he said. "And in fact, they're merely a licensor of that content. So they have the rights to 'House of Cards' in what they call the first television window."
On CNBC's "Fast Money," Pachter said that it was clear from the show's DVD sales on Amazon.com and its television-friendly 48-minute run time, Netflix only had a limited window from which to profit from the series.
"I think that the value of original series as a mechanism to attract subscribers is substantially limited," he said. "I think shareholders have bought into that and really think that Netflix is the next HBO, and I think it really is not."
Pachter noted that about 5 million subscribers churn in and out every year, totaling 58 million who have quit over the past 10 years.
"I think they artificially, probably attracted back 500,000 who were curious about the show this past quarter, so I think they hit their numbers this quarter. I think in June they're in trouble," he said. "I think those 500,000 will churn out, and I think they have a headwind. So I think you're going to get good sub numbers when they report on April 22. I think you're going to get miserable sub numbers when they report in July, and I think the stock is just positioned to get crushed."
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Pachter also didn't hold much expectation that the series, which stars Kevin Spacey, would do much for the company from here.
"I think 'House of Cards' is done. I think it's had its impact," he said. "I don't think anybody's going to join Netflix to watch it going forward."
Trader disclosure: On April 4, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Jon Najarian is long RFMD PUTS; Jon Najarian is long EEM PUTS; Jon Najarian is long VXX CALLS; Jon Najarian is long JNPR CALLS; Jon Najarian is short VXX puts; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long SJM; Joe Terranova is long AXP; Joe Terranova is long KORS; Joe Terranova is long GS; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Mike Murphy is long AAPL; Mike Murphy is long BAC; Mike Murphy is long PSX; Enis Taner is long GS; Enis Taner is long GS PUTS SPREAD; Enis Taner is long MSFT; Enis Taner is short CALL SPREAD; Enis Taner is long FXE PUTS; Enis Taner is long XLE PUTS.