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

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

Of the previous year alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose seventy eight %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix saw a sixty one % boost, as well as Google’s parent Alphabet is actually up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are asking yourself if these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will provide similar or even even better upside this season.

From this particular number of five stocks, we’re analyzing Netflix today – a high performer during the pandemic, it’s today facing a unique competitive threat.

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The business enterprise and the stock benefited from the stay-at-home atmosphere, spurring desire for its streaming service. The stock surged about ninety % off the reduced it hit on March 16, until mid-October.

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Nevertheless, during the past three months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s key rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) acquired considerable 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’s a significant jump from the 57.5 million it found to the summer quarter. That compares with Netflix’s 195 million subscribers as of September.

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

But Disney+ is not the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division can be found in the midst of an equivalent restructuring as it is focused on its latest HBO Max streaming wedge. As well, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is realigning its entertainment operations to give priority to the new Peacock of its streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from rising competition, what makes Netflix a lot more vulnerable among the FAANG group is the company’s tight money position. Because the service spends a lot to develop the exclusive shows of its and capture international markets, it burns a great deal of money each quarter.

In order to improve its money position, Netflix raised prices due to its most popular plan throughout the final quarter, the second time the company did so in as several years. The move could prove counterproductive in an atmosphere where people are losing jobs as well as competition is warming up. In the past, Netflix price hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber development, particularly in the more mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan last week raised similar issues in his note, warning that subscriber advancement might slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with various other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) belief in the streaming exceptionalism of its is fading relatively even as 2) the stay-at-home trade might be “very 2020″ even with a little concern about just how U.K. and South African virus mutations can impact Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

His 12-month cost target for Netflix stock is $412, aproximatelly twenty % below the current level of its.

Bottom Line

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

Investors seem to be taking a rest from Netflix inventory as they hold out to see if that could happen.