The FAANG team of mega cap stocks produced hefty returns for investors during 2020.

The team, whose members consist of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) benefited immensely from the COVID-19 pandemic as folks sheltering in its place used their devices to shop, work as well as entertain online.

Of the past year alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up eighty six %, Netflix saw a 61 % boost, along with Google’s parent Alphabet is up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are actually wondering if these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will bring similar or even even better upside this season.

From this particular group of 5 stocks, we are analyzing Netflix today – a high performer throughout the pandemic, it is today facing a distinctive competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The business and its stock benefited from the stay-at-home environment, spurring need for its streaming service. The stock surged about ninety % off the minimal it hit on March sixteen, until mid-October.

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Nonetheless, during the previous three weeks, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s primary rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained a lot of ground in the streaming battle.

Within a year of its launch, the DIS’s streaming service, Disney+, today has greater than eighty million paid subscribers. That is a significant jump from the 57.5 million it reported to the summer quarter. That compares with Netflix’s 195 million subscribers as of September.

These successes by Disney+ emerged at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in its subscriber development. Netflix in October found it included 2.2 million members in the third quarter on a net schedule, short of the forecast of its in July of 2.5 million new subscriptions for the period.

But Disney+ isn’t the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division can be found in the midst of a comparable restructuring as it focuses on its latest HBO Max streaming wedge. Too, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is actually realigning its entertainment businesses to give priority to its new Peacock streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from climbing competition, the thing that makes Netflix much more vulnerable among the FAANG class is the company’s tight money position. Given that the service spends a great deal to create its extraordinary shows and capture international markets, it burns a lot of money each quarter.

to be able to improve the cash position of its, Netflix raised prices for its most popular program throughout the last quarter, the next time the company has done so in as many years. The move might prove counterproductive in an atmosphere where people are losing jobs and competition is heating up. In the past, Netflix price hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber development, especially in the more mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan last week raised very similar concerns in the note of his, warning that subscriber advancement may well slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) confidence in the streaming exceptionalism of its is fading relatively even as two) the stay-at-home trade could be “very 2020″ even with a little concern over how U.K. and South African virus mutations might affect Covid 19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12-month cost target of his for Netflix stock is actually $412, about twenty % below its current level.

Bottom Line

Netflix’s stay-at-home appeal made it both one of the best mega hats as well as tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the business needs to show that it is still the top streaming option, and that it’s well positioned to protect the turf of its.

Investors appear to be taking a break from Netflix stock as they hold out to see if that could occur.