Netflix soars on analyst upgrades ahead of earnings report

Shares of Netflix Inc. ran up 2.5% in premarket trade Friday, putting them on track to open at a 3-month high, after no less than two analysts upgraded the video streaming service a week before it‘s scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter results. Raymond James analyst Justin Patterson raised his rating to strong buy, after being at outperform for at least the past three years. He boosted his stock price target to $450, which represents a 39% premium to Thursday‘s closing price of $324.66, from $435. Late Thursday, to buy from neutral and lifted his price target to $410 from $400. Raymond James‘s Patterson said he believes Netflix‘s content investments and film strategy are "paving the way to material profitability." Netflix is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Jan. 17. After tumbling 44% from its July 9 record close of $418.97 to an 11-month low of $233.88 on Dec. 24, the stock has soared 39% through Thursday. In comparison, the Nasdaq Composite has climbed 13% since Dec. 24 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 10%.

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