While Jim Cramer is in San Francisco this week, he has heard about all of the snazzy start-up companies with disruptive technologies that could possibly take over the world one day. But what about a company that is already conquering the globe?
Netflix is the video streaming colossus that not only allows for TV shows and movies to be streamed, but also creates its own original programming. It reported a fantastic quarter in July, with confirmation that it added 3.3 million new subscribers. It is also expanding its international footprint substantially, and Cramer thinks it could even take over the whole world by the end of the year next year if it wanted to.
Cramer had the opportunity to speak with Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings to discuss the current environment of the Internet, how Netflix obtained rapid success and where it could be headed in the future.
Cramer pointed out that 13 years ago, Netflix traded at just 85 cents a share; it closed at $102 a share on Friday. Hastings explained the fast growth of the company, stating “It’s really the Internet. The Internet is transforming so many sectors of our economy, and we are Internet TV; and that sector has grown from very small 15 years ago to starting to be significant now.” (Tweet This)
The end of TV?
“We are just a learning machine. Every time we put out a new show we are analyzing it, figuring out what worked and what didn’t so we get better next time”
In fact, Hastings predicted that in the next 10 to 20 years, all of television will be on the Internet. He added that he was willing to bet that the Internet would be a fast growing industry when he first started Netflix because he saw the incredible consumer experiences that the Internet allowed.
Hastings attributed the success of original programming such as “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” to Netflix’s powerful data analytics.
“We are just a learning machine. Every time we put out a new show, we are analyzing it, figuring out what worked and what didn’t so we get better next time,” Hastings added. (Tweet This)
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Even more impressive, the stock remains the best performer in the S&P 500, up more than 100 percent for the year. Could the recent pullback in the stock be a window of opportunity?
“When you get this kind of retreat in the stock, historically—as I always tell you, through thick and thin—it’s been a terrific buying opportunity. Worst case, it goes lower and you can buy more at even cheaper prices before it rebounds,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Investors were shaken on Aug. 4, when Disney reported earnings and indicated that it had suffered some subscriber loss. This bolstered fears that consumers were cutting the cable cord and flocking to subscription services such as Netflix.
“There are a few people that have cut the cord, but it is very, very small still today. But it’s a worry about the long term,” Hastings said.
Hastings anticipates that sports networks that have had such success in maintaining an audience will ultimately adopt an on-demand model. Consumers will be able to watch any game on any device in the future, just as companies such as HBO currently provide.