The third season of the hugely popular Netflix series "House of Cards" has now been released. Some fans may have already binged-watched all 13 episodes, but the streaming media company—like the show's scheming main character Frank Underwood—appears to have a long-term plan in mind.
According to BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, the company's "massive year" of original content is critically important to future growth.
Greenfield has a "buy" rating and a $600 price target on Netflix, which is about 33 percent higher than the Street's average rating and 25 percent higher than Netflix's current share price. The company's focus on creating high quality original programming remains a central pillar of his bullish thesis.
"If you look at the number of shows, basically every four weeks we're going to have something new and fresh to watch on Netflix with 'House of Cards'-like quality," he said on CNBC's "Fast Money" a few days ago.
Greenfield also broke down the impact that "House of Cards" has already had on Netflix.
"The return of 'House of Cards' last year actually had far more of an impact on new signups than season one," he said. That makes sense, he said, given the hype for original content that the first season created over the course of the year following its release.
For its part, Netflix has been transparent about its ramp-up in spending for original content.
"We will continue to grow the percentage of our content spending dedicated to originals for the next several years," the company said in its most recent letter to investors. "This will mean more cash usage, which means more debt."
Spending has become a concern for some on Wall Street. Wedbush managing director Michael Pachter, who has an underperform rating on Netflix, recently wrote in a note that increased competition in the space will force the company to spend more on marketing for its original programs.
Pachter also noted that while profitability appears to be an afterthought for investors right now, at some point that attitude will shift. "When that happens, we expect Netflix shares to trade down significantly from their current levels," he said.
Netflix said its 320 hours of original programming in 2015 actually cost less than most of its licensed content.
"We try to make each project more efficient and effective than studio content we'd otherwise be licensing," the company said in its fourth-quarter investor letter.
So does that mean Netflix is poised to trade higher? Private Advisor Group's Guy Adami doesn't think so.
Adami said on "Fast Money" that the stock looks "toppy" at current levels. "Look for a pullback into the low $400s," he said.