Video-streaming service Netflix continues to expand its reach — and its stock is reaping the benefits. The company also briefly passed Disney in market value late this month. Shares rose almost 2 percent, reaching a market value of $152.6 billion.
If you invested in Netflix in 2007, when it began its streaming service, that investment would have really paid off. A $1,000 investment would be worth more than $108,000 as of May 25, according to CNBC calculations, or more than 100 times as much, including price appreciation and dividend gains reinvested.
In the charts below, all data splits are adjusted and gain-loss figures do not include dividends, interest, distributions or fees except on cash accounts. The portfolio value represents current holdings and the comparison charts represent current and historical prices of individual benchmarks, stocks or exchange-traded funds.
While Netflix's stock has performed well, any individual stock can over- or under-perform and past returns do not predict future results. Plus, competitors like Disney, with plans to launch their own streaming services, could likely pull content, and potentially viewers, from Netflix.
"I think Netflix is in trouble when the big guys start coming after them," Laura Martin, an analyst at investment-banking and asset-management firm Needham & Company, said in an interview with CNBC last year.
Still, many experts, including those from Morgan Stanley, aren't so bearish. "We continue to believe Netflix will scale to a large and highly profitable business, and 1Q results highlight continued momentum on both scale and margins," said an analyst from the investment-banking company.
"In a rare combination, subscriber growth exceeded expectations AND expectations for margin expansion for the year increased. Importantly, as the company pivots its incremental spending from content first toward marketing, there are some early signs that operating leverage is increasing and cash burn perhaps peaking."
Last year, Netflix announced it would spend $7-$8 billion on content in 2018, including for its own original content. The company signed show-runner Shonda Rhimes to an exclusive deal and completed an acquisition with comic-book company Millarworld.
If you're considering investing in Netflix or in the stock market in general, experts advise starting slow. Experienced investors Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban and Tony Robbins suggest beginning with index funds, which hold every stock in an index, offer low turnover rates, attendant fees and tax bills, and fluctuate with the market to eliminate the risk of picking individual stocks.
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