×

Analysts bash Netflix on weak guidance

Netflix shares fell sharply after issuing surprisingly weak subscriber guidance, which prompted analysts to slash price targets and earnings estimates.

Netflix said it expected 500,000 net domestic adds and a 2 million net international membership gain. Wall Street had expected 586,000 total domestic net adds, and 3.5 million internationally, according to StreetAccount.

Analysts at several firms, including Cowen and Citi, cut their price targets on the stock after the company issued the guidance.

Shares of Netflix closed down nearly 13 percent, but the stock is still up 15 percent in the last 12 months.

Citi analysts reduced their price target on the streaming giant's stock to $106 from $116, while Cowen analysts cut their target to $135 from $155, citing Netflix's weak forward-looking subscriber guidance. Netflix stock was at about $95, down more than 11 percent, in afternoon trading.

Cowen analysts said in a Tuesday note the company's domestic subscriber expectations was "solid," but expected Netflix to report international guidance of 3.1 million.

Citi analysts, in a note, said they maintained a neutral rating on the stock after reducing earnings estimates on the lower guidance. They trimmed their second quarter EPS estimate to 13 cents from 22 cents and cut the full year estimate to 41 cents from 77 cents.

However, analysts at Raymond James reiterated their "outperform" rating on the stock.

They also retained $130 price target, noting that long-term profitability looks achievable despite its near-term outlook.

"While we acknowledge this debate will not be resolved any time soon and scrutiny on quarterly results is high, we find three reasons to buy shares on weakness: 1) original content is still driving U.S. growth; 2) marketing is a source of leverage; and 3) Int'l is moving closer to breakeven," they said in a note following the earnings release.

NFLX in the last year

—CNBC's Everett Rosenfeld contributed to this report.