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Netflix’s biggest bull: The story is still intact — here’s why

Netflix's biggest bull speaks

Despite a dismal second quarter, one of Wall Street's most closely followed media analysts says Netflix still has plenty of upside.

"It's had its volatility, but where is the business going? People are cutting the cord," which suggests a major secular tailwind for Netflix in the years ahead, BTIG's Rich Greenfield said Tuesday on CNBC's "Fast Money. "

It also suggests that competition concerns may be overstated.

"When you cut $80 down to $40 or even to nothing, there's a lot of money to go around that you're going to spend on HBO Go, that you're going to spend on Hulu, that you're going to spend on Netflix," he said.

However, in a nod to the potential headwinds, Greenfield reduced his firm's price target from $150 to $130, while maintaining his buy rating. Netflix fell more than 13 percent Tuesday, closing at $85.84.

The slash in the projected price came as "we took down our subscriber targets, which was prudent given the amount of the miss," Greenfield said.

Indeed, Netflix notably failed to meet expectations for domestic and international user growth. Globally, the service only gained 1.7 million subscribers versus expectations of 2.5 million. In the U.S., only 160,000 subscribers signed up, which was a far cry from expectations for 532,000.

Greenfield believes the shaky sign-up numbers are not enough to derail long-term global growth.

"Quarterly subscriber volatility is nothing new to Netflix, nor are management excuses that are often difficult to digest," Greenfield said in his most recent coverage letter.

Indeed, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tried to reassure investors during Monday's video conference that the company was still "growing, but not as fast as we would like or have been."

Added Hastings: "Disrupting a big market can be bumpy, but the opportunity ahead is as big as ever."

That message did little to calm investors' fears; Netflix had its worst day since 2014 on Tuesday, as shares plunged 14 percent. Year-to-date, shares are down nearly 25 percent.

Despite low subscriber numbers and increased development costs, Greenfield remains undeterred in Netflix's potential as the top streaming service in the world.

"Despite the continued subscriber volatility vs. investor expectations, the question remains, is Netflix poised for meaningful global growth over the next several years? We remain confident they are," Greenfield wrote.

Not everyone is bullish on Netflix. Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter's 12-month price target is $50 a share.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.