Netflix Shares Fall To New Low
Already battered Netflix was pounded to the mat again this morning by investors who questioned the company's strategy of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into its streaming service without a clear indicator of how such a strategy will pay off. Netflix shares opened at $72.05, significantly under its 52-week low and at a fraction of its 52-week high of $304.79, after it said in an SEC filing on Monday that it will sell about $200 million in convertible bonds to shareholder Technology Crossover Ventures and an additional $200 million to non-affiliated third parties at $70. Analysts, confounded by the company's willingness to spend freely on content, even while fighting to retain subscribers and losing Starz, its most popular movie provider, were seemingly dumbstruck by the latest movie. The decision, said veteran media analyst Michael Pachter, was "bad to the point of desperation." The obvious conclusion, he said, was that Netflix's "revenues are insufficient to provide enough cash to pay for their planned content acquisition costs." Late Monday, Netflix announced that it expected to post quarterly losses for all of 2012 but, on a positive note, said that the exodus of subscribers from its DVD-by-mail service has abated and that it expects to attract additional subscribers for its streaming service as newly acquired content becomes available.