Tags: Cramer | Netflix | downgrade | Morgan Stanley

Jim Cramer: Netflix Could Be Worth $30 Billion

By Kristin Caliendo   |   Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 07:15 AM

Netflix stock soared in value in 2013, claiming its stake as the best performer in the Standard & Poor's 500, but the recent downgrade of the stock by Morgan Stanley was "premature," says CNBC's Jim Cramer.

Cramer believes the company could be worth $30 billion if it tripled its international subscriber base, which wouldn't be a tough feat for Netflix based on its sound business model and low price points. The company is currently valued at $21.3 billion.

"I've been saying . . . they can raise the price and no one could know the difference," he explained. "I really believe that. This is a really powerful story by a really excellent CEO."

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Citing increasing competition from similar streaming video providers, such as Hulu, HBO and Amazon, Morgan Stanley downgraded Netflix from "equal-weight" to "underweight."

"I'm beginning to hear this pushback," Cramer noted "People are reacting to the winner of the S&P last year and maybe it's moved too much. I continue to think the franchise is worth more and the international market is great."

Cramer added, "I think the downgrade is — I'm going to use the term — premature."

Netflix is hanging on to pure momentum, with a price-earnings ratio of more than 290 times, he explained. "That's pure momentum. Momentum is back, and analysts fight momentum on a daily basis."

In the downgrade, Morgan Stanley analysts Scott Devitt explained that the increased competition "could challenge Netflix's gross subscriber growth and lead to higher U.S. marketing [and] content costs," according to Fox Business Network.

Amazon Prime Instant Video holds just a 2 percent share of streamed TV programming; however, Devitt noted there is "a real risk that Amazon could narrow Netflix's realizable U.S. [total addressable market] if Amazon members are finding Prime Instant Video is good enough that they don't need to subscribe to a second service," Forbes reported.

Morgan Stanley lowered its target price for Netflix to $310 per share, down from $333 per share.

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