Most Netflix subscribers won't leave for Disney's or Apple's services, survey finds

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Netflix shares cratered over the past three months, as concerns about slowing subscriber growth have combined with investors fearing the risks of new streaming competition from both technology and media giants.

But Piper Jaffray remains unfazed, sticking by its optimistic forecast for Netflix’ stock and, in a September survey of the streaming service’s subscribers, the firm found that risks from competitors may be overblown.

“Our survey suggests that the majority (~75%) of Netflix subscribers do not intend to subscribe to either Disney+ or Apple TV+. For those that do expect to use one of these offerings, the vast majority expect to also maintain their Netflix subscription,” Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson said.

Netflix shares fell 1.1% in trading Wednesday, from its previous close of $269.58 a share, amid broad declines in U.S. markets. Piper Jaffray has an overweight rating on Netflix with a price target of $440 a share – nearly 64% above the company’s current stock price.

Both Disney and Apple are launching new streaming video platforms in the next few weeks. But Piper Jaffray’s survey of about 1,500 subscribers found they don’t plan to leave Netflix for Disney+ and Apple TV+

“Most existing Netflix subscribers appear to be trending towards multiple streaming video subscriptions, especially as many continue to reduce their spend on traditional TV offerings,” Olson said.

Piper Jaffray’s confidence comes after multiple Wall Street analysts have sounded the alarm on Netflix’ rising costs and potential losses to its streaming market share. As recently as July, optimistic forecasts for Netflix were nearly universal on the Street. But, since then, Netflix stock has dropped nearly 30% and erased its 2019 gains.

While Netflix faces other risks, such as rising content licensing costs and eroding pricing power, Piper Jaffray believes the competitive threat is now priced into the stock.

“NFLX now trades at multi-year valuation lows, suggesting shares reflect much of the upcoming competition risk and periodic sub add volatility,” Olson added.

– CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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