The world's leading on-demand music streaming service, Spotify Technology SA, hit the public markets Tuesday trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol SPOT. The unusual offering was not underwritten by any banks, while no price was set ahead of the debut. As shares spiked 13% in their first day trading, then erased some gains as of Wednesday morning, some analyst on the Street say the stock's course could follow that of Wall Street darling Netflix Inc. (NFLX). (See also: Can Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Compete With Spotify?)
Spotify's initial public offering (IPO) was also unique in the fact that the company did not put on a traditional roadshow to potential investors, leaving some analysts less sure of what to expect from the stock. Analysts at Guggenheim Securities suggest that investors should look to Netflix's highly valued stock as providing a roadmap for Spotify's future stock performance.
Guggenheim's Michael Morris presented a bullish view on Spotify, offering particular applause to its “win-win” proposition of helping both listeners and consumers.
Spotify to Gain on Huge Potential Market
"Spotify seeks to deliver maximum listening enjoyment to consumers through convenience, curation, breadth of content, and payment options (your time or money)," wrote the Guggenheim analyst. "The value proposition to the artist is to strengthen the listener relationship through distribution, data access, and compensation ... Spotify's focus on creating a virtuous cycle for consumers and artists and using technology to create curated experiences evokes a Netflix-like promise of significant global penetration potential."
Netflix, which started trading in 2002 at $15 per share, has skyrocketed to a price near $280 per share as of Wednesday morning, reflected in a market capitalization of $143.8 billion. Investors have shown that they are willing to pay a premium for NFLX, even as it heads off a growing number of competitors including deep-pocketed Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Hulu. Morris suggests that the same should hold for SPOT despite an increasingly crowded music streaming space, as the Swedish-based firm heads off against the likes of Apple, Amazon and Pandora Inc. (P). NFLX's price-to-earnings ratio has rested well above 200 on average over the past five years, compared to Facebook's P/E multiple at 62 and Apple's at 14.
Analysts at RBC echoed the bullish sentiment, indicating that Spotify may have an even larger dataset than Netflix in terms of playlist personalization, in addition to a “very very large” potential market. (See also: Why Wall Street's Analysts Won't Give Up on Tech.)