The FAANG group of mega cap stocks manufactured hefty returns for investors throughout 2020.

The team, whose members include 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 folks sheltering in place used their products to shop, work and entertain online.

Of the previous 12 months alone, Facebook gained 35 %, Amazon rose seventy eight %, Apple was up eighty six %, Netflix discovered a 61 % boost, as well as Google’s parent Alphabet is up thirty two %. As we enter 2021, investors are wondering if these tech titans, optimized for lockdown commerce, will provide similar or a lot better upside this year.

By this group of 5 stocks, we’re analyzing Netflix today – a high performer throughout the pandemic, it’s now 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 demand due to its streaming service. The inventory surged aproximatelly 90 % from the reduced it hit on March 16, until mid-October.

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However, during the past three months, that rally has run out of steam, as the company’s main rival Disney (NYSE:DIS) gained a lot of ground of the streaming fight.

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

These successes by Disney+ came at the identical time Netflix has been reporting a slowdown in the subscriber growth of its. Netflix in October discovered that it included 2.2 million subscribers in the third quarter on a net basis, short of its forecast in July of 2.5 million brand new subscriptions for the period.

But Disney+ isn’t the sole headache for Netflix. AT&T’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia division can be found in the midst of an equivalent restructuring as it focuses on the latest HBO Max of its streaming wedge. Also, Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is realigning its entertainment operations to give priority to the new Peacock of its streaming service.

Negative Cash Flows
Apart from climbing competition, what makes Netflix much more vulnerable among the FAANG class is the company’s small cash position. Given that the service spends a lot to develop the exclusive shows of its and capture international markets, it burns a great deal of money each quarter.

To improve its cash position, Netflix raised prices for its most popular plan throughout the very last quarter, the second time the company has done so in as a long time. The action might possibly prove counterproductive in an environment wherein men and women are losing jobs and competition is heating 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 concerns in the note of his, warning that subscriber advancement could possibly slow in 2021:

Netflix’s trading correlation with other prominent NASDAQ 100 and FAAMG names has now obviously broken down as 1) trust in its streaming exceptionalism is fading relatively even as two) the stay-at-home trade might be “very 2020″ despite having some concern about how U.K. and South African virus mutations can impact Covid 19 vaccine efficacy.”

The 12-month cost target of his for Netflix stock is $412, aproximatelly twenty % below the present 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 should show it continues to be the high streaming option, and it is well-positioned to protect the turf of its.

Investors seem to be taking a break from Netflix inventory as they delay to find out if that will happen.