There is a 40% Chance Apple Will Acquire Netflix [Citi]

03 January, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Citi Apple acquisition targets

Before Disney acquired Fox's studio and TV platforms, Citi predicted there was a 20-30 per cent chance Apple would acquire it. Apple is said to have a decent chance of buying Netflix at some point this year, which would certainly shake up the streaming scene.

Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant, analysts with Citi Group, have stated a 40% chance that Apple buys Netflix now that President Trump has signed the GOP's sweeping tax bill into law. As Citi points out however, that figure is just a third of the huge $252 billion cash stockpile Apple now holds overseas and is yet to bring back to the US. For now, it's the kind of talk that's only happening among analysts - and not between Apple and Netflix (so far as we know). However, "he points that there are strategic reasons for Apple to buy Netflix when you look at the financials, it would take a long time for the bet to pay off if it ever does". This was based on his analysis of Apple's and Netflix's revenue, gross margin, operating expense ratio, other income and interest expense, tax rate and share count three years out from their last fiscal year.

Apple has much of its stockpile in foreign regions, which it was previously unable to transfer to the US. With the rumblings around Apple approaching a deal with Netflix, it's possible. The company is also working on its first scripted series with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

But that kind of effort is a drop in the bucket compared to the major players, leaving Apple way behind Netflix, Amazon, and even HBO, according to Variety. Apple is also developing a new space opera from Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore. And Apple's method of content delivery - while robust and market-defining within the iPhone and Mac ecosystems - doesn't align with the way viewers are now streaming Netflix and its competitors.

However, this prediction should come with a huge grain of salt: namely, that this is all on the words of analysts who, as Forbes says, "have nothing to lose". Get this: the Cupertino company has a problem, and that problem is literally too much money.

Apple is said to have as much as $250 billion dollars at its disposal, and Suva and Merchant figure that it would need only a third of that hoard to buy up Netflix.



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