Analyst: Netflix model can go international and work

Netflix subscriber numbers soar
Netflix subscriber numbers soar

Netflix has gotten permission to expand internationally from the markets as its stock climbs, said Mark Mahaney, Internet analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

"The market is essentially saying, and we agree, that you can build a high-growth, profitable business in the U.S. and take that model and expand it overseas," he said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday. "So far they've shown that ability to succeed profitably in Canada, the U.K. and we think they'll be able to do it in other markets."

On Wednesday, Netflix reported an earnings beat on subscriber growth although missed on the headline earnings per share figure. That prompted RBC Capital Markets to raise its price target to $600 with an outperform rating.

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"They've got the best value proposition in the market, and with this original content that's building up they're giving people more reasons to sign up and to stay with the service," Mahaney said.

Domestic net additions in the first quarter came in at 2.3 million, topping estimates for 1.88 million. Internationally, the company added 2.6 million subscribers, compared with projections of 2.3 million.

The company said it expected to add an additional 2.5 million U.S. and foreign subscribers in the second quarter.

The guidance shows Netflix is seeing strong uptake toward the end of the quarter that is spilling into Q2, said Robert Peck, internet equity analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Subscription growth should drive revenues for the year, he added.

"The comments around new markets—Australia, the strength of LatAm, moving towards Korea and Japan—gives them a lot of runway to expand and shows the content they have is actually resonating," he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

Netflix rips higher; Analyst on sidelines
Netflix rips higher; Analyst on sidelines

Netflix's stock is up almost 60 percent this year and the company's market capitalization nears $33 billion.

Peck said SunTrust is currently on the sidelines because he thinks the stock is expensive and the company's cost of acquiring customers and content obligations are growing, leaving it with negative cash flow in the near- to medium-term.

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Mahaney is bullish on Netflix but said that a spoiler could come from competition from Amazon. "If they were to launch a stand-alone service at $5.99 a month, boy, that would derail this stock," he said.

Mahaney also said that $8.99 is a steal for the breadth of content offered through Netflix.

Disclosure: Neither Mark Mahaney nor Robert Peck own shares of Netflix. Netflix is not an investment banking client of RBC Capital Markets SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

—CNBC's Tom DiChristopher and Karma Allen contributed to this story.