Financial Analysts Declare Netflix ‘Broken’ and Suffering ‘Nuclear Winter’

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How bad is Netflix’s news that it lost 800,000 subscribers yesterday? Bad enough for financial analysts to start describing the company as going through a “nuclear winter” and “broken,” advising their clients to dump the stock and move on.

Netflix stock fell almost 28% yesterday in reaction to its earnings announcement, leading analysts to tell investors that it’s time to sell up and abandon the company. Multiple analysts, including Sesquehanna Financial’a Vasily Karasyov and Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible downgraded the stock from neutral to sell, with even Credit Suisse cutting its target price for the company by more than 50%.

Wible’s analysis of the company’s prospects is particularly damning, with him writing that his company believes that “the Netflix model is unsustainable, as the company faces rising costs that it hoped it could pass onto its subs, which appear unwilling to do so.” With the company itself suggesting that it may operate at a loss throughout all of 2012 due to its European expansion plans, Wible’s take seems particularly persuasive.

Not all analysts are proclaiming doom, however; both Lazard Capital Markets and Wedbush Securities are cautiously staying with their “neutral” takes on the company’s future. But with competition growing all over for the service, the next year could end up being make or break for Netflix.

MORE: Netflix Was Right, and We’re Being Fickle

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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JeremyFray
JeremyFray

It all started when they tried to make two separate companies. Customers cried out and quit by the thousands. They pretended to listen, made it all Netflix again, and kept the thing that made cuistomers angry in the first place: separate plans that cost more to get less. Now it's $7.99 for streaming, then $7.99 more for 1 dvd at a time. Their online selection is declining, while they say it's growing. They add old movies nobody wants and pretend we should stay for that, while TV series and newer movies fall off and are no longer available to stream. Even if they have a series online, they may not have all of the episodes online, so you need to subscribe to the DVD service to see one episode on disc 3.

The only way to access their full collection is to have both plans. They raised the price while the value was lowered. I get a better selection of TV shows on Hulu. I'm fine with commercials on Hulu. I would be fine with all of the commercials on network TV if I could watch it when I have time, like I can on Hulu. I am not fine with Netflix assuming I am stupid enough to not notice they are doing the same thing they tried before, just without the extra name. I think about 800,000 other people noticed, too.