April 20th caught Netflix investors by surprise. Shares of Netflix are imploding after the company reported its first quarterly loss of subscribers in more than a decade, far underperforming expectations and worrying investors that had been betting that a handful of big tech companies would continue to grow at a rapid clip. Netflix said its decision to pull out of Russia cost the company 700,000 subscribers. But the economy isn’t helping, either. Inflation is forcing households to reevaluate their budgets. People in Great Britain canceled about 1.5 million streaming subscriptions in the first three months of 2022. More than a third did so to save money, according to a new report by media consultancy Kantar.
The stock plunge shows that Netflix was extremely overvalued, as investors — flush with cash during the pandemic recovery — fed a huge rally. Shares of Netflix rose 86% from the end of 2019 through 2021, while the S&P 500 climbed 48%. In turn we saw Disney, Apple, Amazon Prime and Hulu get pulled down by as much as 5% on the day amid fears that streaming services may have peaked.