Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are rising following a report that said the company is in “advanced negotiations” with former U.S. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to produce a series of shows.
POTENTIAL OBAMA DEAL: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama are nearing a deal with Netflix to produce a series of exclusive shows that will give them a global platform after their departure from the White House, the New York Times reported Friday. It is not clear how much the Obamas will be paid under the proposed deal, which is not yet final, and the number of episodes and formats for the shows have not yet been decided. Obama does not plan to use the shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics but has talked about producing shows that feature inspirational stories. The move comes as Netflix competes for viewers with Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN), which have also expressed interest in discussing content deals with Obama. The company previously said it could spend as much as $8B on content this year. Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to the former president, commented that “President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire. Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”
ANALYST COMMENTARY: Following the report of the talks, GBH Insights head of technology research Daniel Ives reiterated a “highly attractive” rating and reaffirmed his $375 price target on Netflix, citing optimism over the company’s original content initiatives, CNBC reported. “We would characterize this as a ‘home run’ deal for the company as they are aggressively looking to acquire high profile talent and original content to further feed the Netflix consumer machine,” Ives said, adding Netflix is an appealing distribution platform for Obama due to its 120M subscribers. In addition, the analyst said he believes the company remains in “a unique position of strength” to grow content and distribution over the next 12 to 18 months as well as further expand its content and streaming footprint with the potential Obama deal.