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The FAANG team of mega cap stocks manufactured hefty returns for investors throughout 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 greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic as individuals sheltering in place used their products to shop, work and entertain online.

Of the past year alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up eighty six %, Netflix saw a 61 % boost, along with Google’s parent Alphabet is up thirty two %. As we enter 2021, investors are asking yourself if these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will achieve very similar or even a lot better upside this year.

By this particular number of 5 stocks, we are analyzing Netflix today – a high performer during the pandemic, it’s now facing a distinctive competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of the strongest equity performers of 2020. The company and the stock benefited from the stay-at-home environment, spurring need for its streaming service. The inventory surged about ninety % from the minimal it hit on March 16, until mid October.

NFLX Weekly TTMNFLX Weekly TTM
However, during the past three months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s key rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) received a great deal of ground in the streaming fight.

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

These successes by Disney+ emerged at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in the subscriber growth of its. Netflix in October discovered that it included 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net basis, short 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 wedge. As well, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is realigning its entertainment businesses to give priority to its new Peacock streaming service.

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

To improve the money position of its, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan throughout the very last quarter, the next time the company has been doing so in as several years. The action could prove counterproductive in an atmosphere wherein individuals are losing jobs and competition is heating up. In the past, Netflix priced hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber growth, particularly in the more-mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan last week raised very similar issues into his note, warning that subscriber advancement could possibly slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as 1) trust in its streaming exceptionalism is fading relatively even as 2) the stay-at-home trade may be “very 2020″ even with some concern over how U.K. and South African virus mutations could impact Covid 19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12-month price target of his for Netflix stock is actually $412, aproximatelly 20 % below the current level of its.

Bottom Line

Netflix’s stay-at-home appeal made it both one of the greatest mega caps as well as tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the business should show that it continues to be the top streaming option, and that it’s well-positioned to protect the turf of its.

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

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