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Netflix stock to climb as streaming becomes global 'cultural necessity,' Deutsche Bank says

Key Points
  • "Netflix is becoming more of a cultural necessity for people around the world," Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Kraft says.
  • Deutsche Bank raises its rating on Netflix shares to buy from hold and increases its price target to $400 a share.
  • "Aside from pay TV, which is losing audience share, there are no other competing platforms that approach Netflix's reach," Kraft says.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings split the company in two in 2011, thinking that the growing ubiquity of high-speed Internet access would soon mean the end of their disruptive DVD mailing business. But neglecting the DVD business proved to be a mistake, and Netflix reversed course.
Ore Huiying | Getty Images

Deutsche Bank raised its rating on Netflix shares to buy from hold on Tuesday, saying the streaming service is becoming "more like a platform every day" rather than just another app on people's phones.

"Platform status brings network effects not available to peers and competitors. Specifically, this is making Netflix even more of a go-to destination when consumers want to watch something, and it means having Netflix is becoming more of a cultural necessity for people around the world," Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Kraft wrote in a note to investors.

"It also makes Netflix a magnet for talent. And it means that consumers stay captive within the Netflix walled garden for significant amounts of time. Aside from pay TV, which is losing audience share, there are no other competing platforms that approach Netflix's reach," Kraft added.

Deutsche thinks Netflix is No. 1 among streaming competitors when it comes to battling for talent.

Even as Disney rolls out Disney+, with a myriad of blockbuster offerings, and Amazon, Hulu and HBO continue invest billions in streaming, Netflix remains ahead in attracting talent. Netflix's ability to secure talent "will continue to feed" the company's "appetite for high-value original content," Kraft said.

Wall Street's estimates for Netflix's subscriber growth over the next two years "seem conservative," Kraft said. To top off Deutsche's upgrade, the firm thinks Netflix has a "risk/reward profile [that] is attractive."

Deutsche increased its price target on Netflix to $400 a share from $360 a share. Netflix stock was up more than 4% Tuesday afternoon from Monday's close of $348.87 a share.