Netflix's total valuation is on the verge of surpassing The Walt Disney Company as a whole. Reed Hastings' company has long had massive ambitions in terms of original content, and its library of upcoming programs has only gotten bigger in recent years. Disney, meanwhile, continues to dominate the box office thanks to the success of Avengers: Infinity War and other Marvel hits, not to mention their Star Wars movies and constant stream of live-action adaptations classic animated films.
However, Disney's stock has hovered right around $100 for the better part of the last three years, with Netflix ostensibly contributing to that stagnation by cutting into the Mouse House's TV viewership. Disney has also had to deal with the possibility that Comcast could upend their 20th Century Fox deal. And, although Disney will eventually launch its own streaming service in 2019, Netflix remains the dominant service in the space. The streaming giant's stock price has virtually doubled in the past year and continues to rise. And now, the past two days of trading has pushed Netflix past another media giant and inched them closer to Disney.
Variety reports that Netflix's stock closed today at $344.72 per share, thus putting its market cap at about $152.8 billion. It surpassed Comcast's $147.15 billion valuation and ended up less than $500 million behind Disney's $153.36 billion valuation. The stock spiked four percent in the past 24 hours following the announcement of a new production deal with Barack and Michelle Obama.
Netflix has been on a roll in 2018, raising its stock price by 70 percent. It soared in April after releasing better-than-expected Q1 earnings and subscriber growth. The company continues to churn out fresh ideas for original content by partnering with established artists and filmmakers, such as an upcoming horror anthology series from Guillermo del Toro. They've also been prolific in releasing original comedy specials, like the upcoming reunion of Three Amigos co-stars and longtime friends Steve Martin and Martin Short.
It's suddenly a tight race between Disney and Netflix with regards to their market caps. It's as indicative of the former's curious inability to grow in recent years as it is of the latter continuing to rise as a media platform. Netflix may even buy theaters in an attempt get more Oscar love for its original movies. Plus, its huge production deal with the Obamas, which will include original films and TV series as well as documentaries, is the latest win for a company that keeps surging. But still, the amount of money Netflix actually earns pales in comparison to Disney. The Mouse House earns approximately four to five times more per year than Netflix does.
However, Disney's valuation may not be stuck in neutral forever. The launch of the company's streaming service in 2019 will reveal an incredibly robust library of appealing content, which could boost the company's value in the process. Disney could also quickly become a prime competitor for Netflix once it has its own streaming service to push. But for now, Netflix has had a great head start in subscribers and has made things interesting in the marketplace with its recent jump.