Netflix Inc. CEO Reed Hastings says the online video rental king is aiming to please both customers and shareholders with its new pricing policy. But it seems to be pleasing neither at the moment.
Netflix shares lost nearly a quarter of their value last week after the company lowered its estimate of the number of subscribers it would attract this quarter. In a letter to shareholders, Hastings acknowledged that subscribers were unhappy with a policy that forced them to pay extra for a video-streaming service Netflix initially provided for free.
But Netflix was a rare loser among online companies as the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index of 25 e-commerce stocks gained 5.76% last week. That put it ahead of the broader stock market, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 4.70% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 5.35%.
Leading the way among Online Retail Index stocks was web apparel retailer Bluefly, which gained 27.8% after announcing it had raised $6 million in new capital. Overall, 21 of the 25 stocks in the Online Retail Index gained last week.
Here are the best-performing stocks last week in the Online Retail Index and the percentage gain in stock price for each:
• Bluefly, 27.8%
• eBay, 18.4%
• LivePerson, 15.1%
• Amazon, 13.3%
Here are the Online Retail Index stocks that performed least well last week and the percentage decline in stock price for the week:
• Netflix, -23.9%
• Bidz.com, 19.7%
• U.S. Auto Parts Network, -13.3%
• VistaPrint, -4.4%
• Systemax, +1.0%
The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., Akamai Technologies, Amazon.com Inc., American Greetings Corp., Bidz.com Inc., Blue Nile Inc., Bluefly Inc., Coastal Contacts Inc., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., eBay Inc., eGain Communications Corp., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Overstock.com Inc., PetMed Express Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Network, United Online Inc. (owner of FTD.com), ValueClick Inc., Vistaprint Ltd and Vitacost.com Inc.