If Netflix creeps higher on bad news, think of what it will do when the news is good. That's one way to look at it.



Netflix is the S&P 500's best-performing stock of 2015, with a 142% gain so far.

Netflix surged all year even though analysts lowered expectations for its short-term and intermediate performance every time the company reported results.

It can be taken as a sign of the market's disconnect from reality. At various points in the year, investors have had reason to worry about Netflix's revenue, cash burn, and US subscriber additions, and still the shares have outperformed the rest of the S&P 500 by a wide margin.

And the analysts who cover this company have been lowering their expectations for earnings throughout the year, while they also boost their target price for the stock, according to Bloomberg data.

This disconnect could right itself as the broad decline in earnings per share creates broadly bearish sentiment that forces investors to ask harder questions of Netflix and the analysts.

According to Factset, more companies are lowering estimates for the final quarter of the year than the average over the past five years.

David Einhorn

"Of the 110 companies that have issued EPS guidance for Q4, 84 have issued negative EPS guidance," according to an analyst note from the data provider.

That said, Factset also points out that analysts expect earnings growth to return next year. It sounds like a contradiction given the trend toward downward earnings revisions we've seen all year. If things end up looking bad once earnings season kicks off, the downward revisions trend may well continue into 2016.

There is a bullish reading of Netflix performance of course. If the company does end up dominating media all over the world over the next decade, then its spending — which bears have said is unsustainable — is vital and, and its long-term value is truly much greater than it is even today.

If Netflix creeps higher on bad news, think of what it will do when the news is good. That's one way to look at it.

 Varchev Traders
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