Saturday February 22, 2020

Netflix shares rise on takeover speculation ahead of earnings

The shares rose by nearly 5% in New York to their highest level since May

4th October, 2016

Netflix shares rose to their highest level since May as investors speculated the online video service could be a takeover target ahead of quarterly earnings scheduled for release in two weeks.

Shares of the world’s largest paid online TV network rose as much as 4.9 per cent to $103.39 in New York, their highest since May 31. The stock was down 14 per cent this year through September 30.

Investors could be speculating on recent takeover rumours, which have linked Netflix to Walt Disney, said Tony Wible, an analyst with Drexel Hamilton. The shares are volatile around earnings and investors could also be purchasing in anticipation of a windfall or buying to cover short sales before earnings are released on October 17, he said.

Wible discounted the likelihood of a deal, as did Pacific Crest Securities’ Andy Hargreaves. Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined to comment.

“You’ve seen some takeover chatter popping up, but Netflix hasn’t shown it wants to be acquired,” Wible said.

Investors will be looking closely for signs of further slowing in subscriber growth at Netflix after a weak second quarter. The company released its latest original series, “Luke Cage,” on Friday. It’s from the Marvel division of Disney, a big Netflix supplier.

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