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The FAANG group of mega cap stocks manufactured hefty returns for investors during 2020.

The group, whose members include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) benefited immensely from the COVID 19 pandemic as folks sheltering in position used their devices to shop, work and entertain online.

During the previous 12 months alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix discovered a sixty one % boost, and Google’s parent Alphabet is actually up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are thinking in case these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will bring similar or perhaps a lot better upside this season.

From this particular number of 5 stocks, we’re analyzing Netflix today – a high performer throughout the pandemic, it’s today facing a unique competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The business and its stock benefited from the stay-at-home environment, spurring desire due to its streaming service. The inventory surged about 90 % from the reduced it hit on March 16, until mid October.

NFLX Weekly TTMNFLX Weekly TTM
However, during the previous three months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s main rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) acquired considerable ground in the streaming battle.

Within a year of the launch of its, the DIS’s streaming service, Disney+, today has more than 80 million paid subscribers. That’s a significant jump from the 57.5 million it reported in the summer quarter. That compares with Netflix’s 195 million members as of September.

These successes by Disney+ emerged at the same time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in the subscriber development of its. Netflix in October found it added 2.2 million subscribers in the third quarter on a net basis, light of the forecast of its in July of 2.5 million new subscriptions for the period.

But Disney+ is not the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division is in the midst of a comparable restructuring as it is focused on its new HBO Max streaming platform. Also, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is realigning its entertainment operations to give priority to its new Peacock streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from growing competition, what makes Netflix more vulnerable among the FAANG class is the company’s tight money position. Because the service spends a great deal to develop the exclusive shows of its and capture international markets, it burns a great deal of cash each quarter.

To enhance the cash position of its, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan during the last quarter, the next time the company has been doing so in as a long time. The move might possibly prove counterproductive in an environment wherein men and women are losing jobs and competition is warming up. In the past, Netflix priced hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber development, particularly in the more mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan last week raised similar concerns into his note, warning that subscriber development might slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now clearly broken down as one) trust in its streaming exceptionalism is actually fading relatively even as 2) the stay-at-home trade may be “very 2020″ even with a little concern about just how U.K. and South African virus mutations can have an effect on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12-month price target of his for Netflix stock is actually $412, aproximatelly twenty % beneath the present level of its.

Bottom Line

Netflix’s stay-at-home appeal made it both one of the best mega caps as well as tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the company needs to show it is still the top streaming choice, and that it’s well-positioned to defend its turf.

Investors seem to be taking a break from Netflix inventory as they hold out to find out if that can happen.

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