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Netflix gets rare sell rating from analyst

Netflix app on a mobile phone
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Macquarie on Tuesday lowered its rating on Netflix to underperform from neutral, saying the company's subscriber numbers and earnings are likely to disappoint investors.

"Macquarie analysts in many regions are skeptical of Netflix's initial launch efforts [in foreign countries], citing price and lack of compelling content as risks," analyst Tim Nollen wrote in a note to clients.

"Investor focus will center on sub adds for now, and we believe here Netflix could disappoint in the near term, while it is rapidly spending on content. We would be sellers of NFLX shares for this reason."

The sell rating (underperform) is a rarity for a cult stock like Netflix. Just six other analysts have this negative view, while 35 say buy or hold, according to FactSet.