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Jan. 26, 2021, 10:20 a.m. EST

Netflix credit on path toward investment grade rating, after S&P upgrade and positive outlook

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By Tomi Kilgore


Shares of Netflix Inc. [s:nflx] rose 1.6% in morning trading Tuesday, after S&P Global Ratings upgraded the streaming video service's credit rating to just one notch below investment grade status, and said there was potential for another upgrade. S&P raised its Netflix ratings to BB+, which is the highest speculative-grade, or "junk" rating, from BB, citing the company's "significantly improved" free operating cash flow (FOCF) trajectory, "and the likelihood that the company will generate sustained positive FOCF beginning as soon as 2021. The rating has a "positive outlook," which S&P said reflects the potential the rating could be raised if the rating agency can be convinced that Netflix will remain disciplined on its cash content spending. S&P's upgrade comes about a week after Netflix reported blowout fourth-quarter subscriber numbers. "While we expect Netflix to aggressively spend on content production in 2021, the company should not get back to pre-2020 spending trajectory in 2021," S&P said. Netflix's stock has climbed 15.8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.95% has gained 13.4%.

+73.47 +1.95%
Volume: 3.33B
March 5, 2021 5:44p

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