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Netflix's original content could boost its international subscriber base 50 percent by 2020, analyst says

  • GBH Insights recommends Netflix shares, citing optimism over the company's international subscriber growth.
  • Its analyst projects the company can reach 90 million to 100 million international subscribers by 2020 versus the roughly 60 million currently.
Co-founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings
Albert Llop | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Co-founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings

Netflix's original content will help boost its subscriber base in foreign markets, according to one Wall Street firm.

GBH Insights reiterated its "highly attractive" rating for Netflix shares, citing the success of the company's original content franchises.

"We believe Netflix has a number of growth levers which should fuel the company's next phase of strategic penetration among both US and especially international consumers," Daniel Ives, GBH Insights' head of technology research, wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

Ives projects the company can reach 90 million to 100 million international subscribers by 2020 versus the roughly 60 million currently.

"We believe Netflix remains in a unique position of strength to grow its content and distribution tentacles over the next 12 to 18 months and thus further build out its massive content and streaming footprint."

Ives maintained his $235 price target for Netflix shares, which is 20 percent higher than Tuesday's closing price. Netflix is one of the market's best-performing stocks this year. Its shares have rallied 58.5 percent through Tuesday versus the S&P 500's 16 percent gain.

The analyst said he is optimistic about Netflix's original content releases such as "Crown 2" and "Stranger Things 2."

"The underlying growth and franchise model at Netflix all revolves around original content build out fueling consumer engagement and subscriber growth," he wrote. "Our bullish thesis on Netflix is based on our belief that the company's competitive moat, franchise appeal, ability to increase international streaming customers through 2020, and original content build out will translate into robust profitability and growth."