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Netflix Shares Hit New All-Time High Amid Enthusiasm for Internet Stocks

Variety logo Variety 6/2/2017 Todd Spangler

Netflix’s stock climbed to a record high Friday to close at $165.18 per share, up 1.3% for the day, riding the wave of tech investors’ bullishness on large-cap internet company stocks.

Along with Netflix, the other three members of the so-called “FANG” quartet of internet stocks — Facebook, Amazon and Google (Alphabet) — each saw solid gains. Amazon crested the magical $1,000-per-share mark to close at $1,006.73 (up 1.1%); Facebook was up 1.4% to $153.61; and Alphabet increased 0.9%, to $975.60 per share.

But could Netflix investors also have been responding to the streaming leader’s cancellation of two high-profile — and expensive — original series, “Sense8” and “The Get Down”? While those actions could help assure Wall Street that Netflix is maintaining a sense of fiscal discipline, analysts warned against making too strong a connection.

“I would hesitate to infer any direct correlation between the cancellation of those two series and Netflix’s recent share price performance, which also seems to have benefited in part from a broader market rally,” said Tuna Amobi, director of equity research at CFRA Research.

The rise of Netflix’s stock in recent weeks has been fueled by expectations of international growth and the overall market movement toward high-growth internet stocks. “Everyone is looking for growth and shorting secular losers,” said MoffettNathanson principal analyst Michael Nathanson.

It’s also worth noting that given Netflix’s overall content spending, expected to top $6 billion this year, even two relatively pricey shows are just a fraction of the total.

Indeed, CEO Reed Hastings indicated that if anything, Netflix is willing to take more shots on goal by continuing to place creative bets on the original programming front.

“You should have more things that don’t work out, you have to get more aggressive,” he said this week at the Code Conference. “The drive toward conformity as you grow is more substantial. As a leader, you want to drive people to take more risks.”

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