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Netflix shares fall to start the new year as analyst says subscriber growth fell short last quarter

Key Points
  • "Our Subscriber Tracker, through November, is pointing to 4Q sub adds slightly below consensus," SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Matthew Thornton says.
  • SunTrust lowers its price target to $355 a share from $410 a share.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is pictured on May 3, 2018 in Lille, northern France during the first edition of the TV Series Mania festival.
Philippe Huguen | AFP | Getty Images

Netflix shares slipped at the beginning of trading Wednesday after SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said the streaming giant added fewer subscribers than expected last quarter.

"Our Subscriber Tracker, through November, is pointing to 4Q sub adds slightly below consensus," analyst Matthew Thornton said. "We're lowering our year-end 2019 price target ... to reflect higher interest/discount rates and lower comparable multiples."

Netflix stock fell as much as 2.1 percent in premarket trading. The stock later recovered its losses to end the day flat at $267.66 a share.

Shares of the widely traded member of the "FANG'' tech basket lost 28 percent last quarter as investors bailed on momentum stocks amid a broader market sell-off. The stock still managed to finish 2018 up more than 30 percent.

The streaming company is also expected to soon announce the appointment of Spencer Neumann as chief financial officer, replacing long-time CFO David Wells. Netflix is reportedly bringing in Neumann, the former CFO of Activision Blizzard, to focus on the company's production finances.

SunTrust lowered its price target to $355 a share from $410 a share.

– CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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