Netflix stock is as bulletproof as Luke Cage
So much for that brief Netflix outage on Saturday hurting its stock. Shares of the company proved Monday to be as bulletproof as Luke Cage, surging nearly 5% on heavy volume.
It seems that investors are once again betting on a Netflix takeover. The two rumored bidders? Disney and Apple.
Disney has often been mentioned as a possible acquirer for Netflix. Such a move could make sense since it would help Disney bolster its new media efforts. It’s the same reason the House of Mouse has been recently cited as a possible Twitter buyer.
But Disney and Netflifx are already working closely together.
In a deal that kicked in last month, Netflix supplanted cable companies to become the exclusive pay TV home in the U.S. for new films from the core Disney studio and its three other major franchises: Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel.
Disney has also partnered with Netflix on several popular shows based on Marvel characters. Netflix is the exclusive home for “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.”
Another new Marvel show — “Luke Cage” — debuted this past weekend to mostly solid reviews. (Aside, of course, from the grumblings of those who had to stop watching midstream on Saturday when the service went down.)
Yet another Marvel superhero — Iron Fist — is getting a Netflix show as well. And these four will eventually join forces in another show called “The Defenders.”
Finally, Marvel superhero The Punisher is set to get his own spin-off show too. The character was apparently introduced in season 2 of “Daredevil.” (I wouldn’t know since I’m hopelessly behind on my Netflix binge-watching.)
Netflix would not comment on the merger speculation. Disney was not immediately available for comment.
Neither was Apple, which has often been thought to be a logical candidate to buy Netflix, as adding Netflix could help it bolster its own media efforts.
Since Netflix already has content deals with major studios, a Netflix purchase by Apple could make it easier for to become a bigger player in streaming.
But do Netflix and its CEO, Reed Hastings, really want to sell? The company has rapidly disrupted the world of traditional media. It is worth more than CBS and Viacom (which may soon look to re-merge) combined.
And Netflix’s market value is just $1.5 billion less than that of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox.
Still, there are concerns about Netflix’s slowing subscriber growth — both in the U.S. and internationally — as well as worries about how much it is spending to produce all of its original shows.
Despite the stock’s recent surge, shares are still down about 10% this year. It’s the only one of the so-called FANG momentum tech stocks in the red in 2016.
Facebook, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet are all up — and near their all-time highs. They are also much larger companies. And Amazon and Google both compete with Netflix in the world of video.
Amazon has launched its own slate of original shows for its Prime customers. (One reason I’m behind on Netflix shows is because I’m slow-bingeing season 3 of “Transparent.”) And Alphabet owns a little thing called YouTube.
So Netflix still has a lot to prove to skeptical investors — as well as consumers.