Netflix is due to report first-quarter results on Monday. The numbers will likely determine whether its stock pulls out of out a recent swoon or accelerates a slide that has seen the company lose roughly 25 percent of its value since hitting a 52-week high on March 6.
Some investors moved back into the stock Thursday. Pacific Crest Securities upgraded Netflix to "Outperform," and established a price target of $500. Shares rose 4.3 percent, to close at $345.74.
Come Monday though, investors will likely be swayed by how many more subscribers Netflix attracted to its $8-per-month streaming video service. The company projected it would add 2.25 million U.S. subscribers, so anything below that will probably amplify concerns that the company is being hurt by increasing competition from the likes of Amazon.com and Hulu.com.
Volatile swings in Netflix's stock are a familiar script. The company releases earnings after the market closes and its stock often posts a sizable gain or loss the next day.Associated Press