An uptick in interest for Netflix, Inc.'s (NFLX) streaming service in India and Germany has prompted Jefferies analyst John Janedis to upgrade the company from "Underperform" to "Hold." Janedis wrote, "Part of our negative thesis on NFLX had been that competition from local players and a consistent global price point would translate to a flatter trajectory of sub growth and higher churn than expected," adding that this view was "too negative." (See also: George Soros Bets on Netflix, Alphabet and Amazon.)
The research firm conducted a survey of consumers in Germany and India, places that it describes as "key markets" for Netflix, to arrive at this conclusion. In the survey, which included consumers across a broad cross-section of demographic and income groups, Jefferies found that Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) Prime Video streaming service and Netflix were the top streaming choices for consumers in both countries.
The revision in perspective means that Netflix will now add 13.5 million streaming subscribers, according to Janedis, about 1 million more than his original estimate. The service currently has approximately 39 million subscribers outside its home market. The increased subscriber growth also means that the firm will report revenue of $11.21 billion as opposed to Janedis' earlier estimate of $11.16 billion. He also revised his price target on Netflix to $135 from $95. (See also: The Impossible Task of Valuing Netflix.)
Netflix has been rapidly ramping up its operations in India. The company's CEO inked deals with large telecom providers in the country during a visit earlier this month. Those partnerships enable the service provider to simplify the sign-up and billing process in the country and possibly to integrate with set-top boxes. In addition to producing local content, the service has signed a deal with Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan's entertainment company Red Chillies Entertainment for exclusive access to movies from its stable. (See also: Netflix Signs Deal With Shahrukh Khan.)
The story is somewhat similar in Germany. According to a report from the European Cable Yearbook, cable subscriptions slipped in the region last year as subscription video on demand (SVOD) services boomed. Based on estimates from a report by Goldmedia, a research consultancy, Germany is leading the charge in cord-cutting. According to the report, 24 million Germans used SVOD services in 2015, double the figure from 2014. Revenue from VOD services in Germany is expected to top $1.1 billion by 2021. While Amazon is the leader there, Netflix is also investing heavily in the market by tying up with local production houses for content. (See also: Why Netflix Content Is Different in Other Countries.)