Bloomberg News

Netflix Tumbles to Lowest in One Year on Competition Worries

September 29, 2011

(Updates with closing stock price.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the online and mail- order video service, fell 11 percent in Nasdaq trading to its lowest price since August 2010, after Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. unveiled competing products.

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, tumbled $13.95 to $113.19 at 4 p.m. New York time. The stock has fallen more than 60 percent from an all-time intraday high $304.79 on July 13 amid a customer backlash over a price increase and plans to operate the mail-order business separately from streaming.

The streaming business faces competition from Amazon, which unveiled a tablet computer yesterday that’s designed to work with its own video service. Microsoft plans to offer online pay television service from Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. through its Xbox Live streaming service, people with knowledge of the situation said.

“Cable video on demand and other video services are widely available and poised to act as alternatives,” David Tice, vice president of researcher Knowledge Media, said in a statement today accompanying a report on Netflix.

Video-game systems such as Xbox are the most popular viewing gateway for Netflix, Knowledge Networks said. Its survey found 10 percent of Netflix customers said they would be “very likely” to cancel if their cable or satellite TV provider offered a similarly priced, comparable service.

Even if more cable and satellite content arrives on game consoles, Netflix won’t face new competitive pressures, said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities Inc.

“It’s true that more than 50 percent of activity on Netflix is on the television, through consoles and other players, but most Netflix customers already have cable or satellite service,” Pachter, who rates Netflix “outperform,” said in an interview. “I don’t get how you’d get a lot of cord- cutting.”

“You have to have service to get it on the Xbox,” he said.

--Editors: Donna Alvarado, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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