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Netflix: stock in demand ahead of quarterly results

( - Netflix is back near all-time highs on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, a few hours ahead of the release of its Q1 results, which professionals expect to show a solid performance.

The US video-on-demand giant's stock, now back above the $600 mark, is up more than 0.6%, and is now just a few dozen dollars away from its all-time high of $690, which will be reached in the spring of 2021.

Investors appear to be positioning themselves to buy ahead of the release of the streaming specialist's quarterly results, which will be unveiled this evening after the close of the US markets for the first three months of the year.

Analysts are expecting another quarter of sales growth, with a consensus figure of $8.7bn, up from $8.2bn a year earlier.

The group should report solid Q1 results, UBS analysts forecast.

According to the Swiss bank, Netflix should have booked 7.8 million new paying subscribers in the quarter, well ahead of the previous quarter (4.3 million) and Q1 2023 (1.8 million).

According to UBS, this performance points to an acceleration in sales growth in the near future.

Investors will also be paying close attention to the group's forecasts for the current quarter, while expecting some rather encouraging statements.

We believe that Netflix has now found the right formula between global content creation, balanced costs and improving profitability, say analysts at Wedbush Securities.

For the US broker, who maintains his 'outperform' rating and $725 target, this combination of factors suggests that the Californian group should continue to improve its earnings and free cash flow.

Under pressure after the Covid epidemic due to a slowdown in the number of new subscribers, the share price has recovered in recent years, to such an extent that some observers believe the group should join the club of the 'Magnificent Seven'.

Its share price has thus jumped 83% over the past 12 months.

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