Much of the controversy revolves around subscriber growth, both in the US and internationally. Netflix missed badly on Wall Street expectations for Q2, but boosters argue that this is a hiccup, and that Netflix’s potential is still intact.
However on the international front, there have been whispers that Netflix isn’t doing well in markets where a high percentage of the population doesn’t speak English, like Russia.
But there is one thing investors are missing about the international market, according to analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
Netflix recently disclosed that its pre-2014 international markets are on pace to bring $500 million in contribution profit in 2016. RBC’s analysis pegs this at about a 20% contribution margin on 25.5 million subscribers. RBC notes that this is “very consistent with the profitability ramp of Netflix US back in 2012 and 2013.” Basically, Netflix’s international roadmap is working like it should.
“We don’t believe many Netflix investors realise this, and thus, we believe that the market underappreciates the profit potential behind Netflix’s international rollout,” RBC analysts wrote in a recent note.
The reason is that while Netflix has maintained that its international markets could one day be as profitable as the US, there hasn’t been much evidence, according to RBC. Netflix has simply had to spend too much on content and marketing in new countries for investors to give an accurate assessment of future profitability.
But RBC thinks this new $500 million number is promising, and that it signals Netflix can take over the world like it took over the US.
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