back to article Netflix scores $1bn own goal after company shoots off mouth

A throwaway comment in the Netflix results (PDF) – suggesting that the Olympics will impact everyone's TV watching, including Netflix customers – has the company in PR trouble once again, with deeply suspicious investors, ready to jump at anything. After an innocuous set of results which looked like it had almost done enough to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, Netflix was making a comeback until the Olympics, a two week event that happens once every two years. Surely there will be a nice turn round on this stock when the sensible people, not the idiots that dumped the stock, start buying it cheaply

    1. UnladenSwallow

      "a two week event that happens once every two years." I must of completley missed the 2010 Olympics, which country was it hosted in?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Posted at quarter past twelve whilst drunk. Application for a do-over due to drunkenness filed.

      2. ukgnome

        a two week event that happens once every two years.

        That would be summer and winter then

      3. KroSha

        Re: completley missed the 2010 Olympics

        That'd be Vancouver 2010

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: completley missed the 2010 Olympics

          Hardly anyone watches the winter Olympics though, do they?

          Any Yanks here - how big a deal is Olympics (summer or winter) in the USA? Does the country go crazy for it and have massive TV coverage like the BBC does in the UK?

          1. J.T

            Re: completley missed the 2010 Olympics

            Massive horrible coverage. NBC has had a stranglehold on it, just got a huge deal to have it pretty much forever, and universally everyone hates it.

            Everything is tape delayed, nobody knows when anything will be on, hope you like swimming and gymnastics (women eat that shit up).

            They have a total of 6 channels, the other day those six channels had:


            2)Football (soccer for us)

            3)That same soccer game

            4)Basketball (game nobody cared about)

            5)That same Basketball game


            Don't even get us started on how horrible the announcers are.

      4. Tauvix

        Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was the Winter Olympics

      5. Arthur 1

        Seriously, Unladen?

        I can buy that you might not consider the winter games to be as big as the summer games. Winter's a bigger deal here, but that's probably geography dependent.

        But are you seriously trying to pretend they don't exist? On a point of pedantry, no less? I can't even begin to wrap my head around all the things wrong with this.

  2. Throatwobbler Mangrove Silver badge


    "After an innocuous set of results which looked like it had almost done enough to keep Netflix out of trouble, this comment has now shaved $1.1bn off the share price, taking its value to $3.3bn in a single day."

    Who says that B (lower share price) was a result of A (referring to impact of Olympics on Netflixing)? It's not like the Olympics was a secret and that no-one would have predicted that people use Netflix less when there are big events and/or summer on.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: eh?

      "Who says that B (lower share price) was a result of A (referring to impact of Olympics on Netflixing)? "

      Given: A - Only an idiot would base buying decisions on something absurd

      Given: B - Investors self-select to those who base buying decisions on absurd things

      Given: C - The impact of the Olympics is an absurd thing to base an investment decision on

      Given: D - The Netflix report mentioned the Olympics

      Posited: E - Investors based their decisions based on the Netflix report

      Since all investors belong to class A, and since A requires investment in stupid things per B, and via C and D, no explanation is possible other than E.


      1. Tapeador

        Re: eh?

        Your "Given: B - Investors self-select to those who base buying decisions on absurd things" is itself fallacious, it's the weak link. It's merely a pejorative, cynical swipe at investors rather than an argument per se.

        I'm not saying they're all like this, but many investors are using their and/or others' life savings and will often research companies, markets, and products with great diligence to make what they consciously hope is the most rational decision they can make.

        You've tried to state that absurdity in making purchasing decisions, is the main irreducible characteristic of investors, and based your argument around your unsupportible contention they're always absurd. As your argument cannot stand, the original commenter's query (which was valid) still stands: how does it follow that the lower share price was the result of the Olympics statement?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: eh?

          Sorry, I didn't realize my post would be taken for a serious argument, given that it's patently absurd. Are you an investor?

          1. Tapeador

            Re: eh?

            I regularly read far more absurd arguments espoused with deadly seriousness. Your 'investors are absurd' line ran pretty much in harmony with the kind of irrational hatred, I regularly see directed at just about any form of business community you can name.

  3. Magister


    Some investors are getting twitchy for the wrong reasons; and that is how the stock market works. People decide to dump stock because they worry that they won't get the dividends that they expected, the price goes down and the sharper investor who has though about it can pick up the shares at a cheaper price. (Then usually sell them back the people that dumped it at a profit).

    Unfortunately, the people that dump the stock are often the people manging the pension funds that we will be relying on for our retirments. Oh well, looks like it will be 70 before I can stop working.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      "Some investors are getting twitchy for the wrong reasons; and that is how the stock market works. "

      What's funny is that, despite that, all of the market models out there assume entirely rational self-motivated behavior on the part of investors.

      Hell, even The Economist seems shocked by this revelation, before immediately pretending it never happened and carrying on as before. It's really quite bizarre. "Oh, the models of the most basic possible underpinnings of our entire economic system are utterly and stupidly wrong, and always have been, and it's self-evident? And this makes huge swathes of analyses useless? DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS*" etc etc.

      *Search for this on if you don't get it. It really is relevant.

  4. Dick


    "by which time Netflix will retain just over 8 million DVD rental customers. Slowly over time these will then shift to online, either with Netflix or with rivals"

    DVD customers switch to online with Netflix? I don't see how that is likely. If you are subscribing to Netflix DVD's it's because you want to watch movies, and Netflix online has very few recent mainstream movies now. If you want to switch from watching movies to watching 20 year old BBC series (with poor video and sound quality) then maybe...

    1. Paul Renault

      Re: Really?

      Actually, Netflix took the 20 year old (Actually, 40 year old) BBC series off of the Canadian pipeline a few months ago. I called to ask them to put them back, please! I was halfway through a few of them, and I'm jonesing...

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Really?

      What content they have in the UK and US is very different, you burk. Most of NF's users aren't in the UK and neither are their shareholders.

  5. motoh

    I don't get investors

    Statements like these show me that Netflix is grounded and aware of reality, and know when they will suffer lulls and when they will have booms. Instead of blowing smoke up the investor's nethers, it's kind of refreshing to see a statement like 'yeah our viewership is going to suck this weekend, heard of the olympics?'

  6. Bernard

    It's a public company's statutory duty

    to detail and analyse the risks which may impact their future success.

    I don't see anything in that pdf which constitutes 'shooting their mouth off'.

    If their trading environment spooks investors into selling then that makes them cheaper for other investors who think them an attractive prospect who were previously overvalued.

    This is how the market works.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly Investors ..

    Silly Investors or should that be the brokers. According to Yahoo finance Netflix bottomed-out at twelve pm and by four pm it was back to the eleven am price. link

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Silly Investors ..

      You want to look at the 5 day chart champ...

      Wednesday 25th everything goes wrong with no recovery.

    2. Tapeador

      Re: Silly Investors ..

      It could be to do with low trading volumes - the summer often does that, few buyers and few sellers mean prices can wildly fluctuate on tiny volumes of sales.

  8. Chad H.

    Sounds like...

    They should have edited their earnings guidance for an American Audience....

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Also - investors respond to reports thus:

    Good report = other investors will buy = price is high = price must be too high = SELL SELL SELL

    Bad report = SELL SELL SELL

    Any other occurrence happens due to random happenstance and astrology.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who wrote this?

    What is it with El Reg and poorly written articles that make wild statements, based on what I can only assume to be, a High School level of understanding of Economics?

    Come on El Reg; you can do better than this.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Who wrote this?

      Perhaps since they're tech journalists they don't have degrees in economics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who wrote this?

        "Perhaps since they're tech journalists they don't have degrees in economics."

        One could argue that this means they shouldn't write about economics - or, when faced with a position where economics is central to a tech issue, seek further guidance with someone who -does- know about economics.

        Unfortunately, there are no such people.

  11. MarkA

    Nothing On

    My problem with Netflix is that there is 'nothing' on. Once you've seen the things that you saw once on TV as a kid and have put a few shows (Cheers, Frasier, Stargate SG1 (sorry)) into the queue as ear-candy whilst you're reading or working (i.e substitute for the radio or whatever) that's it. You're done. I've gone back to buying DVDs on occasion, ripping them to MP4 on a big-ass disk array and playing them through Apple TV with iTunes installed on a virtualized guest on the server. If we ever find ourselves at a loose end and want to watch something recent then Apple TV also provides, but it is a tadge pricey at $5 a film for 24 hours - use sparingly.

  12. Alan Brown Silver badge

    All that work

    And I STILL can't watch it on my linux box. :(

  13. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    The take home from this is:

    Netflix stock is undervalued; buy now.

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