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

The group, 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 men and women sheltering in its place used the products of theirs to shop, work and entertain online.

Of the past year alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose 78 %, Apple was up 86 %, Netflix discovered a sixty one % boost, and Google’s parent Alphabet is up 32 %. As we enter 2021, investors are actually thinking in case these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will achieve similar or perhaps much more effectively upside this season.

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

Stay-at-Home Appeal Diminishing?
Netflix has been one of probably the strongest equity performers of 2020. The company and the stock benefited from the stay-at-home atmosphere, spurring need due to its streaming service. The inventory surged aproximatelly 90 % off the reduced it hit on March sixteen, until mid October.

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Nonetheless, during the past 3 weeks, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s main rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) received a lot of ground in the streaming battle.

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

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

But Disney+ isn’t the only headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division is within the midst of a similar restructuring as it concentrates on the new HBO Max of its streaming wedge. Also, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is actually realigning its entertainment businesses to give priority to the new Peacock of its streaming service.

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

To enhance its cash position, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan throughout the final quarter, the second time the company has been doing so in as many years. The action might possibly prove counterproductive in an atmosphere where individuals are losing jobs as well as competition is warming up. In the past, Netflix priced hikes have led to a slowdown in subscriber growth, particularly in the more-mature U.S. market.

Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan previous week raised similar fears in the note of his, warning that subscriber advancement might slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as one) belief in the streaming exceptionalism of its is actually fading relatively even as two) the stay-at-home trade may be “very 2020″ even with some concern about how U.K. and South African virus mutations might have an effect on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12-month price target of his 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 best mega caps and tech stocks in 2020. But as the competition heats up, the business needs to show that it is still the high streaming choice, and that it’s well-positioned to protect its turf.

Investors appear to be taking a rest from Netflix inventory as they hold out to determine if that could occur.