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Netflix’s Talk Show Hosted by David Letterman Up for Release


Netflix Inc. NFLX announced that a six-episode chat show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman is set for release on Jan 12.

With the series, Letterman, who was last seen as the host of CBS’ Late Show in May 2015, is making a comeback on TV. Interestingly, the first episode will feature former U.S. president Barack Obama on a TV talk show for the first time since he left office.

Other than Obama, the one-hour monthly talk show will have a single guest in a long-format interview as well as in-between segments. Its lineup of guests includes influential personalities like George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern.

The company first revealed its plans for the show in last August when CCO Ted Sarandos was quoted saying that Netflix's original content effort will get a boost from bringing “a true television icon” like Letterman on board as he is a master at “out in the wild, out from behind the desk and interviewing the people he finds most interesting.”

In a separate release, the streaming giant also announced that it is developing a 20-episode original series Untitled Sabrina Project starring Kiernan Shipka. The one-hourly drama is an adaptation of Archie Comics’ The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

We believe the company's improving content portfolio will drive subscriber growth and boost the stock price. Notably, shares of Netflix have gained 60.3% in the past year, substantially outperforming the industry’s 14.2% rally.

Expanding Original Content: Key Catalyst

Last week, Netflix announced that it is set to launch a sequel to its highly popular production, Bright starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. Per Nielsen data, which was quoted by Bloomberg, the movie Bright with a budget of $90 million attracted 11 million views between Dec 22 and 24, 2017.

We believe that the company’s continued focus on producing quality original content is driving its top line. Reportedly, there will be 80 original movies this year, with expenditure on original content expected to be $8 billion. This is a substantial jump from 40 original movies and budget of $6 billion in 2017.

Netflix’s expanding catalogue of original content will continue to be a growth driver in 2018. The addition of Death Note, Naked and To the Bone to its platform in the third quarter is worth mentioning.

The company’s efforts to boost regional programming are also helping it expand its international presence. The company also reported profits from its international operations in the last reported quarter.

At the end of the previous quarter, Netflix's paid streaming members across the globe increased 24.9% year over year to approximately 104 million. The company has more than 109 million total subscribers, globally.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Netflix carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Micron Technology Inc. MU, NetApp Inc. NTAP and NVIDIA Corporation NVDA, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Micron, NetApp and NVIDIA is projected to be 10%, 11.3% and 10.3%, respectively.

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