Netflix wins back Wall Street, shares jump 42%
The jump represented the largest single-day gain from Netflix, though shares were still trading at just under half their record of more than $300 in July 2011, when the company was celebrated on Wall Street for pioneering a video service that rocked the traditional media industry and Hollywood.
On Thursday, a string of industry analysts upgraded Netflix shares or raised their price targets after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and strong subscriber growth around the world. Many said Wednesday's report of an $8 million fourth-quarter profit signaled a turnaround for the company, even though risks remained.
"The worst is behind them," said Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler, who raised his Netflix recommendation to "market perform." "The margins are much better, they are getting better marketing efficiency, the content spend is slowing."
Shares of Netflix rose $43.60 to $146.86 on Nasdaq on Thursday, their highest level since September 2011.
One of Netflix's biggest shareholders, activist investor Carl Icahn, saw a massive gain since he began buying shares in September. Icahn's nearly 10 percent stake, bought for $321.4 million, has increased to $807.7 million based on Thursday's closing share price.
When Icahn disclosed his stake in October, he said he felt the company was an attractive takeover target.
"We have no further news about his intentions, but have had constructive conversations with him about building
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