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How to Capitalize on Netflix's Accelerating Recovery

Netflix Stock Price outlook

Having at one point last year been down more than 75%, shares of Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) have been having what can only be called the mother of all comebacks. They're currently up 160% from the lows twelve months ago, having recently been up as much as 200%, with many of those gains coming this year alone.

For the most part, it's been a textbook rally with higher lows and higher highs characterizing the comeback. 

Those user and revenue growth concerns, which did so much damage last year, have been well priced into the stock at this point, and it's looking more and more like the worst-case scenarios will not come to pass. Looking ahead to the final few months of the year, Netflix's rally looks set to continue gathering momentum. Here are two ways to get involved and take advantage. 

Improving Fundamentals

Investors with a longer-term outlook will be drawn to Netflix's improving fundamentals and the buying opportunity that's still on offer here. On the face of it, you might think Netflix had a mediocre Q2, which they reported on towards the back end of July.

Shares had rallied right up into the release as investor optimism soared despite the triple-digit percentage gains already seen in the stock this year. However, a strong earnings beat wasn't enough to mask the revenue miss, and understandably, shares sold off. They gapped down the following day and didn't stop falling until the start of last week. 

However, with shares already ticking back toward last month's highs, it's clear the bears have since run out of whatever steam they got from the revenue miss, and it's easy to see why. Once you dive deeper beyond the headline numbers, Netflix's recent performance and future outlook improve dramatically.

The streaming giant smashed analyst expectations on new subscriber numbers, adding nearly six million against the forecasted two million. Their free cash flow was one hundred times bigger than the same quarter last year, with forward guidance for this also coming in ahead of what analysts were expecting. 

For those of us on the sidelines and looking for a long-term buy-and-hold play, there's a lot to like here, with almost all key metrics trending in the right direction. This hasn't gone unnoticed. Loop Capital just upgraded their rating on Netflix from a Hold to Buy, on the back of Netflix being the "best positioned" media company out there. It was a move that echoed similar comments from J.P. Morgan earlier this month.

And the best bit? Even with a record quarterly revenue number just reported, Netflix still feels kind of cheap down here, thanks in part to last year's sell-off. Their shares are still down 40% from all-time highs and are trading just above 2018's peak, which makes the long-term opportunity a bit more appealing. 

Buy Into The Technicals

The alternative option is to trade Netflix with a more active strategy than simply buying and holding for the long term. Since the sell-off bottomed out this time last year, Netflix's technical indicators have been flashing reliable and regular signals to both buy and sell shares.

Take the stock's relative strength index (RSI) for example. It runs on a scale of 0-100, and as a rule, anytime this is above 70, a stock is considered extremely overbought, while conversely, a reading below 30 means it's extremely oversold. Holding off on a trade until the RSI has hit these numbers or gone beyond them can mean a lot of waiting and missed opportunities, so consider this. 

Netflix's RSI has hit or gone below 40 (green circles) only four times in the past year. Each time it has, shares have bottomed out from any pullback fairly quickly afterward and have returned to hitting higher highs. The most recent ping was ten days ago, right around when the post-earnings slump lost steam. That supports the argument that we're at the start of a new leg in the rally, one that should see it top July's high. 

On the other side of the spectrum, anytime the RSI has hit the high 60s (red circles), it's almost always marked a short-term high, with shares cooling in the sessions afterward. This means it could be used as a great sell signal for any investors getting involved in a short-term swing.

Trying to time the market can be tricky, but if you have the appetite for the risk, the returns can easily outperform those investors who are buying and holding. 

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