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

The team, whose members consist of 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 people sheltering in its place used the products of theirs to shop, work as well as entertain online.

Of the past year alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose seventy eight %, Apple was up eighty six %, Netflix saw a 61 % boost, as well as Google’s parent Alphabet is up thirty two %. As we enter 2021, investors are thinking if these tech titans, enhanced for lockdown commerce, will bring very similar or perhaps even better upside this year.

By this particular group of five stocks, we are analyzing Netflix today – a high-performer during 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 the stock benefited from the stay-at-home atmosphere, spurring demand because of its streaming service. The inventory surged aproximatelly ninety % off the minimal it hit on March sixteen, until mid-October.

NFLX Weekly TTMNFLX Weekly TTM
However, during the previous 3 months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s main rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) received considerable ground in the streaming battle.

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

These successes by Disney+ came at the same time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in its subscriber growth. Netflix in October discovered that it included 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net foundation, short of its forecast in July of 2.5 million brand new subscriptions for the period.

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

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from rising competition, what makes Netflix a lot more weak among the FAANG group is the company’s small money position. Given that the service spends a lot to develop its extraordinary shows and capture international markets, it burns a lot of cash each quarter.

In order to enhance the cash position of its, Netflix raised prices because of its most popular plan during the last quarter, the second time the company has done so in as a long time. The action could prove counterproductive in an atmosphere wherein people are losing jobs as well as competition is heating up. In the past, Netflix price hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber development, especially in the more-mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan previous week raised similar fears in the note of his, warning that subscriber growth might slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with various other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) trust in the streaming exceptionalism of its is actually fading relatively even as two) the stay-at-home trade could be “very 2020″ despite having some concern over how U.K. and South African virus mutations can have an effect on Covid 19 vaccine efficacy.”

His 12 month price target for Netflix stock is actually $412, aproximatelly twenty % below its present level.

Bottom Line

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

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

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