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 greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic as folks sheltering in place used their devices to shop, work as well as entertain online.

During the older year alone, Facebook gained thirty five %, Amazon rose seventy eight %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix saw a sixty one % boost, and Google’s parent Alphabet is actually up thirty two %. As we enter 2021, investors are actually asking yourself if these tech titans, enhanced for lockdown commerce, will provide similar or even a lot better upside this year.

By this particular group of five stocks, we’re analyzing Netflix today – a high performer throughout the pandemic, it’s today facing a distinctive 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 because of its streaming service. The inventory surged aproximatelly 90 % off the minimal it hit on March 16, until mid-October.

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Nevertheless, during the previous three weeks, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s primary rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained a great deal of ground in the streaming battle.

Within a year of the launch of its, the DIS’s streaming service, Disney+, today has more than eighty million paid subscribers. That is a substantial 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+ came at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in its subscriber growth. Netflix in October reported that it added 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net basis, light of the forecast of its in July of 2.5 million brand new subscriptions for the period.

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

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

In order to enhance its cash position, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan during the last quarter, the next time the company has been doing so in as many years. The action could prove counterproductive in an environment in which folks 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 very similar issues into his note, 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 1) confidence in the streaming exceptionalism of its is actually fading somewhat even as 2) the stay-at-home trade may be “very 2020″ despite having a bit of concern about how U.K. and South African virus mutations might impact Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

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

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 enterprise needs to show it continues to be the high streaming option, and that it is well positioned to defend the turf of its.

Investors appear to be taking a break from Netflix inventory as they delay to find out if that can occur.

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