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The Morning Brief: Wall Street Reacts to Netflix’s Stock Surge
Shares of hedge fund favorite Netflix — one of the four original so-called FANG stocks — surged 20 percent, to close at $108.12 on Tuesday, after the streaming video company reported very strong subscriber growth and other metrics. The news and stock move certainly took the folks at Deutsche Bank by surprise. Just last week it recommended clients sell the stock.
“While our initiation at Sell one week ago was not a call on the quarter, clearly it was wrong in the short term,” the bank told clients in a note on Tuesday. It repeated its sell recommendation but did raise its price target, from $90 to $92.
UBS is much more enthusiastic about the stock. On Tuesday it “significantly” raised its earnings estimates and boosted its price target from $92 to $119. Of course, it would have served its clients better if this move was made before Netflix reported its results, a fact it concedes in a client note.
“We missed a nice opportunity in Netflix’s stock as one tenet of our original Netflix thesis started to prove out faster than expected,” UBS states in its report, referring to the role a ramp up of original content has played in the company’s growth rate. It points out that its price target increase is related to its raising the 2020 subscriber forecast by 9 percent. Even so, UBS maintained its neutral rating on the stock.
Then there is Credit Suisse, which on Monday lifted its price target on the other three so-called FANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon.com and Alphabet. The bank Tuesday maintained a Neutral rating on Netflix and actually trimmed its price target, to $130 from $132.
At the end of the second quarter, Netflix was a popular stock among the Tiger Management crowd. For example, it was the number one holding of SRS Investment Management, the stock’s eighth-largest shareholder. The New York firm was founded by Tiger Global Management alum Karthik Ramakrishna Sarma. The stock also was the fourth-largest U.S. long of New York-based Coatue Management, headed by Tiger Cub Philippe Laffont, and the thirteenth-largest U.S. long of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Viking Global Investors, headed by Tiger Cub O. Andreas Halvorsen.
Credit Suisse has initiated coverage of hedge fund favorite Sarepta Therapeutics, a medical research and drug development company. The stock was up 119 percent in September alone after reports that the Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the first drug to treat the disease. We recently reported the stock has helped to propel the earlier success and this year’s turnaround of the Perceptive Life Sciences Fund, managed by Joseph Edelman’s Perceptive Advisors, Sarepta’s largest shareholder. Steven Cohen’s family office, Point72 Asset Management, was the fourth-largest shareholder at the end of June.
David Meneret, a former portfolio manager at hedge fund Macquarie Credit Investment Management, has launched his own firm, Mill Hill Capital, and plans to begin trading next month, according to Reuters. He received an undisclosed sum from Protégé Partners, according to the report. Mill Hill will specialize in market-neutral relative value investing in U.S. fixed income, focusing on CLOs (collateralized loan obligations), corporate financials such as bonds and CDS (credit default swaps), aircraft ABS (asset-backed securities) and credit indices, among other markets, according to Meneret’s LinkedIn profile. “This relationship will provide Mill Hill Capital the opportunity to gain critical mass and foster the growth of the firm,” Meneret told Reuters.