Analyst: Foreign growth, originals will boost Netflix

Analyst targets Netflix at $125 despite miss

Shares of Netflix plunged Thursday, a day after the company reported disappointing U.S. subscriber growth in quarterly earnings.

By 2 p.m. EDT, Shares of Netflix were down 8 percent, just above $101.

Before the market opened Thursday, Nomura senior analyst Anthony DiClemente said the big driver for the stock is the company's prospects overseas and the draw of its original content.

Netflix said Wednesday it added a net 2.74 million new international subscribers in the third quarter, compared with internal estimates for 2.4 million and 2.04 million a year earlier.

"Really, that's the story of the stock. It's the international expansion, the global scale," DiClemente told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

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Netflix will expand into Spain, Italy and Portugal in the second quarter and enter South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in 2016. In regards to its international business, the company said it planned "to run around break-even through 2016 and to deliver material profits thereafter."

In the United States, Netflix added 880,000 members, well below analysts' forecasts for growth of 1.19 million subscribers, according to StreetAccount. Its profit of 7 cents per share on $1.74 billion in revenue came in just below expectations.

The company blamed the shortfall on a wave of new credit card issuances, as vendors ran into a deadline to transition to chip-enabled cards in the quarter. That prevented some customers from renewing their memberships, Netflix said.

DiClemente called that involuntary churn a temporary phenomenon, and said the long-term narrative remains in tact. He reiterated his price target of $125 before the start of trading on Thursday.

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According to surveys conducted by RBC Capital Markets, the number of Netflix users voluntarily canceling subscriptions is at a record low, Mark Mahaney, lead Internet analyst at RBC, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Thursday.

"For now we're taking the company at face value when they say they had an involuntary churn issue in the U.S. in the third quarter. That better correct in the third quarter, and we think it will," he said.

Netflix slides after subscriber slump

Asked about the rising cost of content, DiClemente said Netflix's guidance that U.S. profit margins would reach 40 percent by 2020 deflects some of that concern.

Netflix will be able to achieve that margin level in part by shifting its content mix toward more original series, DiClemente added. He noted the company has said this content generates more viewership per dollar spent than syndicated programming yields.

The streaming company has become known for series like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black." Netflix said its new show based on the life of drug lord Pablo Escobar, "Narcos," was a key driver of international subscriber growth.