Netflix is already big in the United States, but it soon could become an international blockbuster.
That’s the take of John Blackledge, a financial analyst who covers the company for Cowen. The streaming media giant has had great success in producing its own original shows for the US market, such as “Stranger Things” and “Orange is the New Black.” But Netflix is increasingly focusing on producing videos that are targeted at its customers in other countries, such as the show “Dark” in Germany and “3%” in Brazil.
That focus should allow the company to attract even more international subscribers and bring in even more international revenue than Blackledge, a longtime Netflix bull, was previously expecting.
Netflix’s focus on international content ” is driving near-term [subscription] growth and longer-term sets up the company to be a leading content producer in many of the largest [international] markets,” Blackledge said in a report issued Tuesday.
His reassessment of the company’s international prospects prompted him to up his price target on Netflix to $430 a share from $375.
Netflix has been expanding overseas for years. Although its international operations lost money for years, there are signs that the move is finally starting to pay off. The company’s number of international streaming customers topped its number of US ones last year and its overseas business now accounts for nearly as much of its revenue as its US one.
For his part, Blackledge expects things will only get better from here. Within five years, Blackledge expects Netflix’s international division to have more than twice as many subscribers as its US service and to bring in 74% more revenue.
That’s an even more bullish view than Blackledge previously held. He now expects Netflix to have about 4 million more international subscribers in 2023 than in his earlier forecast, and he expects the international business to bring in about $350 million more in annual revenue.
Those differences add up. Just based on his more optimistic expectations for Netflix’s international business, he expects the company’s earnings in 2028 to be $2 a share more than he previously forecast. That prompted him to raise his price target.