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January 15, 2019 | How Long Can Netflix Keep Outbidding Disney?

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

The broad averages wafted higher Tuesday after being stuck in a holding pattern for more than a week. Although the ascent was gentle for most stocks, the hard-hit FAANGs caught fire, with NFLX leading the pack on a nearly 7% gain. The company announced an 18% rate increase in its most popular plan, which will now cost $13 a month instead of $11. Wall Street loves a company that can make a price increase stick in these very competitive times, and it will allow Netflix to step up the bidding war for A-list talent and content.  While NFLX was streaking higher, the shares of Disney were falling by almost 2%. The company will have to match Netflix dollar-for-dollar to stay competitive, but it won’t be easy, since Netflix’ pay scale is outrageous. For example, they paid comedian Chris Rock a reported $40 million for two one-hour specials. Nice work if you can get it. But will such extravagant outlays pay off in revenues? The jury is still out, but the suspicion grows that the bidding war has grown too costly to sustain.

 

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January 15th, 2019

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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