The team, whose members include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) benefited vastly from the COVID 19 pandemic as men and women sheltering in position used their devices to shop, work and entertain online.

Of the older year alone, Facebook gained thirty five %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix saw a 61 % boost, and Google’s parent Alphabet is up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are thinking in case these tech titans, enhanced for lockdown commerce, will provide very similar or even better upside this year.

From this particular number of 5 stocks, we are analyzing Netflix today – a high performer during the pandemic, it is today facing a unique competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The business and its stock benefited from the stay-at-home environment, spurring need because of its streaming service. The stock surged aproximatelly ninety % off the low it hit on March 16, until mid October.

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However, during the past three weeks, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s primary rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) acquired a great deal of ground of the streaming fight.

Within a year of its launch, the DIS’s streaming service, Disney+, now has more than eighty million paid subscribers. That’s a substantial jump from the 57.5 million it found to the summer quarter. That compares with Netflix’s 195 million members as of September.

These successes by Disney+ emerged at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in the subscriber development of its. Netflix in October found that it included 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net foundation, short of its forecast in July of 2.5 million new subscriptions for the period.

But Disney+ is not the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division is in the midst of a comparable restructuring as it focuses on the new HBO Max of its streaming wedge. Also, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is actually realigning its entertainment operations to give priority to its new Peacock streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from growing competition, the thing that makes Netflix more vulnerable among the FAANG class is the company’s small cash position. Because the service spends a great deal to create the exclusive shows of its and capture international markets, it burns a good deal of cash each quarter.

To enhance the cash position of its, Netflix raised prices due to its most popular plan during the last quarter, the second time the company did so in as several years. The move might possibly prove counterproductive in an environment wherein individuals are losing jobs as well as competition is warming up. In the past, Netflix price hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber growth, particularly in the more mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan last week raised very similar fears in his note, warning that subscriber growth could possibly slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with various other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) belief in the streaming exceptionalism of its is fading somewhat even as two) the stay-at-home trade could be “very 2020″ even with some concern over just how U.K. and South African virus mutations could affect Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12 month cost target of his for Netflix stock is $412, about 20 % beneath the present level of its.

Bottom Line

Netflix’s stay-at-home appeal made it both one of the best mega caps and tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the business must show that it continues to be the top streaming option, and that it’s well-positioned to protect the turf of its.

Investors seem to be taking a break from Netflix inventory as they hold out to see if that can occur.