The best strategy I have found for valuing Netflix NFLX is the same as one might use walking into a dark room: Feel around for something you can grab onto, and grope your way to your destination, hoping not to stub a toe along the way.
The thing I have grabbed onto when valuing Netflix is the company Joe valued earlier this year: Disney.
Netflix describes itself as an “internet television network” but it is also a movie studio, as it has been producing its own original movies as well. Two of Disney’s most important segments are its Media Networks business (ABC, ESPN, etc.) and its Studio Entertainment business (Disney, Lucasfilm, Pixar, etc.). The comparisons are not perfect — Neflix has said it is not interested in pursuing live action programs (ESPN’s stock and trade), and Disney distributes its films through theaters — but when walking into a dark room, you take what you can get.
The modeling for Netflix is a bit tedious, so I will draft a longer report to walk through my thinking. For the time being, here is our Netflix model:
The valuation range is very wide: $24 / share to $953 / share, but some of these scenarios are clearly ridiculous. The average of all valuation scenarios is $316 / share — just about where the shares are trading today.
The two scenarios I view as most likely value the company at $277 / share and $574 / share with an average value of $426 / share — suggesting a bullish opportunity. Considering the uncertainties, I am reluctant to pound the table for a bullish strategy. Stay tuned for my longer valuation report and you can make up your mind!