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Netflix Craters On Subscribers Miss, Catastrophic Guidance

Netflix Craters On Subscribers Miss, Catastrophic Guidance

Recent earnings reports from streaming giant Netflix have been a mixed bag: the stock tumbled one year ago when the company reported a huge miss in both EPS and new subs, which at…

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Netflix Craters On Subscribers Miss, Catastrophic Guidance

Recent earnings reports from streaming giant Netflix have been a mixed bag: the stock tumbled one year ago when the company reported a huge miss in both EPS and new subs, which at 2.2 million was tied for the worst quarter in the past five years, while also reporting a worse than expected outlook for the current quarter. This reversed four quarters ago when Netflix reported a blowout subscriber beat and projected it would soon be cash flow positive, sending its stock soaring to an all time high - if only briefly before again reversing and then tumbling three quarters ago when Netflix again disappointed when it reported a huge subscriber miss and giving dismal guidance, leading to the second quarter when Netflix slumped again after the company missed estimates and guided lower. This again reversed last quarter when Netflix soared after it blew away expectations and guided to a whopper Q4.

Which brings us to today, when after hitting an all time high around $700 in November, the stock slumped to the middle of its range for much of the past two years, with investors on edge to find out not whether the company would confirm its impressive guidance and continue its torrid growth pace. Said otherwise, how many new subscribers did Netflix add in the third quarter... and will Netflix’s “monster quarter for content” translate into outsize subscriber gains? That’s the question Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall asked in a research note Wednesday.

Unfortunately for NFLX bulls, the answer was a resounding no, because despite beating modestly on revenue and EPS, NFLX missed on Q4 streaming adds, but more importantly, its Q1 subs forecast was an absolute disaster, and at just 2.50 million it was nearly 4 million below the street's estimate of 6.26 million.

Here is what NFLX just reported for Q4.

  • EPS $1.33, beating est. 81c
  • Rev. $7.71B, matching est. $7.71B
  • Operating margin 8.2% vs. 14.4% y/y, beating the estimate 6.96%
  • Operating income $631.8 million, down 34% y/y, but also beating the estimate $559.0 million
  • Negative free cash flow $569 million vs. negative $284.0 million y/y, missing the estimate of negative $516.8 million

So far so good, or at least not terrible. But this is where the wheels comes off, because while the company had previously forecast 8.5 million Q4 paid subs, it achieved just 8.28 million (which still was just above the Wall Street's downward revised  estimate of 8.13 million), down 2.7% Y/Y...

This is how the company explained this miss:

We slightly over-forecasted paid net adds in Q4 (8.3m actual compared to the 8.5m paid net adds in both the year ago quarter and our beginning of quarter projection). For the full year 2021, paid net adds totaled 18m vs 37m in 2020. Our service continues to grow globally, with more than 90% of our paid net adds in 2021 coming from outside the UCAN region.

The Q4 subscriber miss was broken down as follows:

  • UCAN streaming paid net change +1.19 million, +38% y/y, beating the estimate +596,839
  • EMEA streaming paid net change +3.54 million, -21% y/y, beating the estimate +3.45 million
  • LATAM streaming paid net change +970,000, -20% y/y, missing  the estimate +1.23 million
  • APAC streaming paid net change +2.58 million, +30% y/y, missing the estimate +2.91 million

The punchline: in the US, subscribers had a small gain in the U.S. and Canada -- from 74 million in 3Q to 75.2 million in 4Q. Netflix saw bigger growth in EMEA than in North America: from 70.5 million subscribers in 3Q to 74 million in 4Q. And some more context: more than 90% of Netflix’s net adds in 2021 came from outside the U.S. and Canada.

But the real gut punch was the company's Q1 2022 guidance, where the company not only saw revenue of $7.9 billion, far below the $8.12 billion estimate, and EPS of 2.86 which was also below consensus of $3.37, but the worst of all is that the company now expects just 2.50 million streaming paid subs this quarter, some two-thirds below the consensus of 6.26 million, bringing the company's total subs to just over 224 million. This would be the worst start to a year since at least 2017!

Bloomberg Intelligence says Netflix’s underwhelming 4Q subscriber additions and weak guidance for 2.5 million gains in 1Q (vs. consensus’ 6.3 million) cast doubts on the long-term growth trajectory and fuel concerns that the service may have reached saturation in many markets. “Flattish operating-margin guidance for 2022 may compound negative sentiment despite a return to breakeven free cash flow.”

Netflix blamed this lower-than-expected Q1 forecast on new programming, such as “Bridgerton” season two, not coming until March. Subscriber growth hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, partly due to a “Covid overhang” and partly due to economic hardship, particularly in Latin America, the company said.

And here is the carnage in table format:

This, as Stanphyl Capital notes, explains why NFLX just announced a big price increase - the growth is gone, so it has to start maximizing revenues in more conventional ways.

Looking at the slump in the streaming part of Netflix business, Bloomberg writes that investors likely want to hear something more concrete and “much more transformative” on the gaming front, particularly after Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the Take-Two-Zynga deal. Netflix has made some moves, including the purchase of Night School Studio, “but I’m not sure that’s going to move the needle for them.”

To be sure, it wasn't all dismal news: Netflix reported its series accounted for six out of the 10 most searched shows globally. Those included ‘Squid Game,’ ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘Cobra Kai,’ ‘Sweet Tooth,’ ‘Lupin,’ and ‘Ginny and Georgia.’

In another ominous twist, instead of focusing on the potential market share, Netflix was surprisingly honest when addressing the competitive landscape saying that "consumers have always had many choices when it comes to their entertainment time - competition that has only intensified over the last 24 months as entertainment companies all around the world develop their own streaming offering." And then there's this clear admission that competition is starting to hammer NFLX: "While this added competition may be affecting our marginal growth some, we continue to grow in every country and region in which these new streaming alternatives have launched." At this point the narrative fell back to the familiar "growth" chatter: "This reinforces our view that the greatest opportunity in entertainment is the transition from linear to streaming and that with under 10% of total TV screen time in the US, our biggest market, Netflix has tremendous room for growth if we can continue to improve our service."

But wait, there was more bad news news, as the company projected that for 2022, it is currently targeting an operating margin of just 19%-20%, explaining that its operating margin outlook is driven by two main factors.

  • First, as seen in the chart below, we delivered above the three percentage point annual linear progression over the past two years (average of four percentage points per year).
  • Second, NFLX said that the US dollar "has strengthened meaningfully against most other currencies. With ~60% of our revenue outside of the US due to our international success, we estimate that the US dollar’s appreciation over the past six months has cost us roughly $1 billion in expected 2022 revenue (as a reminder, we don’t hedge)." Well... maybe it's time to hedge!?  And so with the vast majority of our expenses in US dollars, this translates into an estimated two percentage point negative impact on our 2022 operating margin.

In hopes of easing investor fears, the company said that as it has written in the past, "over the medium term we believe we can adjust our pricing and cost structure for a stronger US dollar world. In the near term, we want to continue to invest appropriately in our business and don’t want to over-react to F/X fluctuations to the detriment of our long term growth. There is no change to our goal of steadily growing our operating margin at an average increase of three percentage points per year over any few year period"

As usual, the company's cash burn was topical, as NFLX burned another $569 million in the quarter. This is what it disclosed in the letter:

Net cash generated by operating activities in Q4 was -$403 million vs. -$138 million in the prior year period. Free cash flow (FCF) for the quarter was -$569 million vs. -$284 million in Q4‘20. For the full year 3 2021, FCF amounted to -$159 million, in-line with our expectation for “approximately break-even.

We anticipate being free cash flow positive for the full year 2022 and beyond. As a reminder, we prioritize our cash to reinvest in our core business and to fund new growth opportunities like gaming, followed by selective acquisitions. We’re also targeting $10-$15 billion of gross debt. We finished Q4 with gross debt of $15.5 billion and we’ll pay down $700 million of our senior notes due in Q1’22. After satisfying those uses of cash, excess cash above our minimum cash levels will be returned to shareholders via stock repurchases.

Blah blah blah: here is the bottom line - the only time Netflix has been cash flow positive in its entire history was when covid shut down the world. And now, covid is over and the company has pulled forward some 5 years of demand. Good luck.

And sure enough the market seems to agree - in light of all these dismal developments, led by the catastrophic subscriber guidance, which is payback for years of pulled forward demand thanks to stimmies and omicron, the stock is cratering after hours tumbling over $100 or a whopping 20% after hours to $411. Putting this in context, the stock was at $700 on November 17, barely two months ago.

Today's drop means NFLX is down the most since its Oct. 2014 earnings plunge, and has wiped out two years of gains.

If bulls were hoping for some cheerful pep talk, they'll be disappointed by the following quote from Miller Tabak's Matt Maley: “NFLX had already declined 26% before they reported earnings. A lot of people hoped that the earnings report would be the catalyst for a rally in this stock -- the first FAANG stock to report earnings. Instead, it’s falling even further, so that’s going to take even more confidence away from investors.”

And while NFLX just lost 20% of its market cap, at least its (poorer) shareholders get some forceful ESG statements:

What was the saying, "get woke, go broke"?

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/20/2022 - 16:13

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Economics

New Work Foundation Index reveals UK workers suffering most from insecure employment

New in-depth analysis of UK job market data reveals women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and young workers have been consistently trapped in insecure…

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New in-depth analysis of UK job market data reveals women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and young workers have been consistently trapped in insecure employment over the last twenty years.

Credit: Work Foundation

New in-depth analysis of UK job market data reveals women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and young workers have been consistently trapped in insecure employment over the last twenty years.

The Work Foundation, a leading think-tank dedicated to improving work in the UK, today launches its new ‘UK Insecure Work Index’ that details the prevalence of in-work insecurity felt by workers across the UK, and reveals how this insecurity has changed over the last two decades.

Using ONS labour market data from 2000 to 2021, the Work Foundation index focuses on three elements that can constitute insecurity at work – employment contracts, personal finances and access to workers’ rights.

Results reveal four groups of workers consistently trapped in the most severe category of in-work insecurity over the last twenty years, which has affected 20-25% of workers every year on average and an estimated 6.2 million employees just last year:

  • Young workers who are two and half times more likely to be in severely insecure work than those in the middle of their working lives (43% of 16-24-year olds vs. 17% of 25-65-year olds)
  • Women who are 10% more likely to be in severely insecure work than men (25% compared to 15%)
  • Ethnic minority workers are more likely to be in severely insecure work than white workers (24% versus 19%). Men from ethnic minority backgrounds are 10% more likely to experience severely insecure work compared to white men (23% versus 13%)
  • Disabled workers who are 6% more likely to suffer severely insecure work, compared to non-disabled workers (25% compared to 19%).

Data also reveals the sectors most at risk of severe in-work insecurity are hospitality, services and agriculture, which see one in three workers affected, compared to one in five nationally.

Ben Harrison, Director of the Work Foundation at Lancaster University, said, “At a time of a cost of living crisis, those in insecure and low paid work are among the groups at most risk. Wages have stagnated and while millions more people may be in employment, the quality and security of the jobs they are in often means they are unable to make ends meet.”

Job market data captured during the pandemic demonstrates that those in severely insecure work face the biggest risks in a crisis. During Covid-19, these workers were at greater risk of losing their jobs, were ten times more likely to receive no sick pay, were more likely to lose out on support through furlough or other schemes.

 “Our analysis shows that job insecurity is impacting certain groups more than others – in particular if you are a young person, a woman in work, from an ethnic minority background or have disabilities, you are more likely to experience severe insecurity in work,” Harrison continues. “With the Bank of England predicting inflation could potentially rise to 10% by the end of 2022, workers may be facing the largest real-term wage cut we’ve seen in generations.”

Former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, Rt Hon. Alan Milburn, said: “The challenges facing millions of UK families due to job insecurity, low pay and lack of full-time work shouldn’t be underestimated. As the country faces the worst cost of living crisis in living memory, it is clear that more urgently needs to be done.

 “Social mobility has stagnated over recent decades and the UK Insecure Work Index confirms that severely insecure work significantly reduces people’s chances of escaping poverty. It is a stark reminder of the need to focus on access to more secure, better paid and higher quality jobs if we are to truly level-up the UK.”

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, welcomed the UK Insecure Work Index. She said: “Up and down the country, millions are trapped in jobs that have wildly unpredictable hours, low pay, and limited rights.

“For years working people were promised improved rights and protections. But ministers have now shelved the Employment Bill, which they said would help make Britain the best place in the world to work. 

 “Instead of tackling insecure work, ministers have sat on their hands and allowed it to flourish. In the midst of a cost-of-living emergency, it’s more important than ever that the government clamps down on low-paid precarious work.

“The time for excuses is over. We need to see government action to boost workers’ rights and end exploitative practices like zero hours contracts.”

Lord Gavin Barwell, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister (2017-19) said: “Today for the first time ever, we have fewer people out of work than job vacancies. But, if low unemployment is a UK success story, the government and employers now face two challenges. First, how do we encourage people back into the market to meet the demand for labour? And second, how do we improve the security of those jobs and thereby level up the country?

“This timely report provides recommendations for what the government can do to improve security while maintaining the benefits of the UK’s current approach. The government is on the search for ways to use the regulatory freedom we now enjoy outside the EU: building on the success of the UK economy in creating jobs by ensuring those jobs are secure in the broadest sense of the word would be a great place to start.”

Ben Harrison adds: “In the immediate term, the Chancellor must raise Universal Credit in line with predicted inflation to ensure support through this cost of living crisis is targeted to those in low-paid and insecure work.

“And while plans for an Employment Bill that could have addressed many of these issues appear to have been shelved, the fact remains Government cannot hope to deliver on its ambition to Level Up the country without driving up employment standards and increasing the number of higher quality, better paid and more secure jobs on offer.”

The launch of the UK Insecure Work Index is the benchmark for the Work Foundation’s Insecure Work Research Programme, which aims to produce timely insights on insecure work in the UK going forward.

The UK Insecure Work Index report is published and available in full on the Work Foundation’s website on 26 May 2022: www.theworkfoundation.com.             

Ends


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International

The State of Democracy In Each Region Of the World

The state of democracy has dropped from an average global score of 5.37 to 5.28, the biggest drop since 2010 after the global financial crisis which translates…

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The world’s (almost) eight billion people live under a wide variety of political and cultural circumstances…[that] can be measured and presented on a sliding scale between “free” (democracy) and “not free” (authoritarian) and the…Democracy Index report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), is one such attempt to apply a score to countries based on how closely they measure up to democratic ideals.

According to EIU, the state of democracy is at its lowest point since the index began in 2006, dropping from an average global score of 5.37 to 5.28, the biggest drop since 2010 after the global financial crisis….[which] translates into the sobering fact that only 46% of the population is living in a democracy “of some sort.”

Below is a look at the democratic state of each region in the world:

The Americas

Europe

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in europe

Africa

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in africa

Middle East and Central Asia

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in the middle east

East Asia and Oceania

map showing democracy index measuring political regimes in east asia and oceania

Decline in Global Democracy Levels

Two years after the world got hit by the pandemic, we can see that global democracy is in a downward trend with very region’s global score experiencing  a drop, with the exception of Western Europe, which remained flat. Out of the 167 countries, 74 (44%) experienced a decline in their democracy score.

Editor’s Note: The above article is an edited and abridged version of the original post on visualcapitalist.com by Raul Amoros with article editing by Nick Routley and graphics design by Sabrina Fortin.

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Economics

5 Top Consumer Stocks To Watch Right Now

Are these consumer stocks a buy amid the earnings season?
The post 5 Top Consumer Stocks To Watch Right Now appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes,…

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5 Trending Consumer Stocks To Watch In The Stock Market Now         

As we tread through the earnings season, consumer stocks could be worth watching in the stock market this week. This would be the case since a number of big consumer names such as Costco (NASDAQ: COST) and Macy’s (NYSE: M) will be posting their financials for the quarter. As such, investors will be keeping an eye on these reports for clues on the strength of consumer spending amid this period of high inflation.

However, despite the soaring prices across the economy, it seems that consumers are surprisingly showing resilience. According to the Commerce Department, retail sales in April outpaced inflation for a fourth straight month. This could suggest that consumers as a whole were not only sustaining their spending, but spending more even after adjusting for inflation. Ultimately, it could be a reassuring sign that consumers are still supporting the economy and helping to diminish the narrative of an incoming recession. With that being said, here are five consumer stocks to check out in the stock market today.

Consumer Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Right Now

Nordstrom

retail stocks (JWN stock)

Starting off our list of consumer stocks today is Nordstrom. For the most part, it is a fashion retailer of full-line luxury apparel, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics among others. The company operates through multiple retail channels, boutiques, and online as well. As it stands, Nordstrom operates around 100 stores in 32 states in the U.S. and three Canadian provinces.

Yesterday, the company reported its financials for the first quarter of 2022. Starting with revenue, Nordstrom pulled in net sales worth $3.47 million for the quarter. This marks an increase of 18.7% from the same quarter last year. Its Nordstrom banner saw net sales rise by 23.5% year-over-year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Next to that, its Nordstrom Rack banner saw a 10.3% increase in net sales from last year. Besides, net earnings were $20 million, with earnings per share of $0.13 for the quarter. Considering Nordstrom’s solid quarter, should you invest in JWN stock?

[Read More] Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now? 5 Value Stocks To Watch This Week

The Wendy’s Company

best consumer stocks (WEN stock)

Next up, we have The Wendy’s Company. For the most part, it is the holding company for the major fast-food chain, Wendy’s. Being one of the world’s largest hamburger fast-food chains, the company boasts over 6,500 restaurants in the U.S. and 29 other countries. The chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and the Frosty, a form of soft-serve ice cream mixed with starches. WEN stock is rising by over 8% on today’s opening bell.

According to an SEC filing, Wendy’s largest shareholder, Trian Partners, is looking into making a potential deal with the company. Trian said that it is considering a deal to “enhance shareholder value.” Also, the firm adds that this could lead to an acquisition or business combination. In response, Wendy’s stated that it is constantly reviewing strategic priorities and opportunities. It added that the company’s board will carefully review any proposal from Trian. Given this piece of news, will you be watching WEN stock?

[Read More] 4 Semiconductor Stocks To Watch In The Stock Market Today

Foot Locker

FL stock

Another stock investors could be watching is the shoes and apparel company, Foot Locker. In brief, the company uses its omnichannel capabilities to bridge the digital world and physical stores. As such, it provides buy online and pickup-in-store services, order-in-store, as well as the growing trend of e-commerce. Some of its most notable brands include Eastbay, Footaction, Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and Sidestep. Last week, the company reported its results for the first quarter of the year.

For starters, total sales came in at $2.175 billion, a slight uptick compared to sales of $2.153 billion in the year prior. Next to that, Foot Locker reported a net income of $133 million. Accordingly, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.60, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $1.54. CEO Richard Johnson added, “Our progress in broadening and enriching our assortment continues to meet our customers’ demand for choice. These efforts helped drive our strong results in the first quarter, which will allow us to more fully participate in the robust growth of our category going forward.”  As such, is FL stock one to add to your watchlist? 

Tyson Foods 

TSN stock

Tyson Foods is a company that built its name on providing families with wholesome and great-tasting protein products. Its segments include Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Prepared Foods. With some of the fastest-growing portfolio of protein-centric brands, it should not be surprising that TSN stock often comes to mind when investors are looking for the best consumer stocks to buy. 

Earlier this month, Tyson Foods provided its fiscal second-quarter financial update. The company’s total sales for the quarter were $13.1 billion, representing an increase of 15.9% compared to the prior year’s quarter. Meanwhile, its GAAP earnings per share climbed to $2.28, up 75% year-over-year. According to Tyson, these financial figures are a reflection of the increasing consumer demand for its brands and products. To top it off, the company was also able to reduce its total debt by approximately $1 billion. Thus, does TSN stock have a spot on your watchlist?

[Read More] Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Rise, Wendy’s Stock Gains On Potential Deal

DoorDash

food delivery stocks (DASH Stock)

DoorDash is a consumer company that operates an online food ordering and delivery platform. In fact, it is one of the largest delivery companies in the U.S. and enjoys a huge market share. The company connects hundreds of thousands of merchants to over 25 million consumers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan through its local logistics platform. Accordingly, its platform allows local businesses to thrive in today’s “convenience economy,” as the company puts it.

On May 5, the company reported its first-quarter financials for 2022. Diving in, it posted a revenue of $1.5 billion, growing by 35% year-over-year. This was driven by total orders that grew by 23% year-over-year to $404 million. Along with that, it reported a GAAP gross profit of $662 million, an increase of 34% year-over-year. The company said that it added more consumers than any quarter since Q1 2021, due in part to the growth of its DashPass members. The growth in Monthly Active Users and average order frequency has helped it gain share in the U.S. Food Delivery category this quarter as well. Given DoorDash’s performance for the quarter, should you watch DASH stock?

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The post 5 Top Consumer Stocks To Watch Right Now appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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