Netflix's IPO was 16 years ago Wednesday -- here's how much you'd have made if you invested $1,000 back in the day

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesNetflix CEO Reed Hastings sits in a cart of ready-to-be-shipped DVDs in January 2002.

Wednesday was the 16th anniversary of Netflix’s initial public offering, and an investor buying in then would have made a very impressive return over the years.

After initially offering its stock at $US15 per share on May 23, 2002, Netflix closed its first day of trading at $US16.75, or $US1.20 per present-day share after adjusting for stock splits, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

As of 12:25 p.m. ET on Thursday, Netflix was trading at an all-time high of $US350.41 per share, with a market capitalisation surpassing that of the entertainment mega-giant Disney.

The chart below shows the value of a $US1,000 investment in Netflix stock made at the first day’s split-adjusted closing price of $US1.20 per share over the following 16 years. As of Thursday, that investment would be worth about $US293,000, which is a pretty good return.

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