Netflix Disrupts Hollywood, Market As Top Stock Of The Decade

Streaming media giant Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) has taken home another award, this time from Wall Street: the top-performing stock of the decade.  

Benzinga · 12/23/2019 16:34

Streaming media giant Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) has taken home another award, this time from Wall Street: the top-performing stock of the decade.  

Netflix's Decade-Long Run 

Netflix stock is up a whopping 4,181% from the first trading day in 2010 through Friday, according to CNBC.

Put in perspective, a $1,000 investment in Netflix back in 2010 when it still relied on the iconic red envelopes to ship DVDs would be worth close to $43,000 today.

The S&P 500 index is up 189% over the same 10-year period.

Netflix expanded from a user base of 12 million subscribers to just shy of 55 million by the third quarter of 2019.

Investors have shown they feel a valuation expansion from a few billion dollars at the start of the decade to around $147 billion today is justified.

Netflix Has More Competition Than Ever 

Netflix's status as a top performer has come with its share of controversies.

The company continues to operate with a negative free cash flow and today faces more competition than any point in its history. Some of the new competitors are taking their content back from Netflix. For example, NBC's "The Office" was one of the most watched shows on Netflix but will migrate to NBC's yet-to-be-launched platform in January 2021.

Netflix supporters will point out the streaming video giant is defying all odds with its Original content, which is backed by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" is a movie worthy of its own life in the theaters, but it instead found a home at Netflix. 

"We couldn't have known 10 years ago how good Netflix could be at developing original content, and we couldn't have known how widely accepted the content would be globally," Gil Simon, chief investment officer at SoMa Equity Partners, told CNBC.

The stock was down 0.76% at $334.34 at the time of publication. 

Benzinga's Take

Investors will likely continue arguing over one of the most debated stocks on Wall Street in 2020 and beyond.

Netflix had a free ride of zero to minimal competition for most of the 2010s. That era has now come to an end and rival platforms are releasing content that can match Netflix. Amazon's "Jack Ryan" certainly comes to mind. Do you agree with this take? Email feedback@benzinga.com with your thoughts.

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Photo courtesy of Netflix.