Buy Netflix shares because of its ‘insurmountable’ lead in video streaming: Credit Suisse

  • Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson assumes coverage on Netflix shares with an outperform rating, citing the unparalleled size of the company's membership base.
  • Mitchelson predicts Netflix's content spending budget will rise to $18.3 billion in 2028 from his estimate of $8 billion this year.
Fans gather at the Netflix booth at a trade show. 
Mike Blake | Reuters
Fans gather at the Netflix booth at a trade show. 

Netflix will dominate the online video subscription market for the next decade due to the strength of its original content, according to Credit Suisse.

The firm’s analyst assumed coverage on Netflix shares with an outperform rating, citing the unparalleled size of its membership base.

“The first U.S. premium pay service, HBO, has never seen its clear leadership challenged, and its lead in profitability has been only widening over time. We believe the global streaming SVOD [subscription video on demand] marketplace will share a similar path, with NFLX enjoying unchallenged leadership and disproportionate scale benefits," analyst Douglas Mitchelson said in a note to clients Tuesday. “Netflix’s leading global scale has created structural advantages that appear to us to be virtually insurmountable at this point.”

Mitchelson started his price target at $500 for Netflix shares, representing 20 percent upside to Tuesday’s close. The company's stock rose slightly Wednesday.

The analyst predicts the company’s content spending budget will rise to $18.3 billion in 2028 from his estimate of $8 billion this year. He noted how Netflix's original content library will grow annually in a cumulative fashion, adding to the company’s value proposition for new subscribers.

“Netflix’s content flywheel, while well known at this point, is still underestimated longer-term, in our view (they add more torque every year),” he said.

Netflix is the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year. Its shares are 116.5 percent year to date through Tuesday versus the market’s 4.5 percent return.

Credit Suisse’s previous analyst on Netflix had a neutral rating and $330 price target for the stock.

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