Coinstar’s Redbox DVD Rentals Early Winner With New Netflix Prices
That didn’t take long. The backlash over Netflix‘s decision to price DVDs-by-mail and streaming-video plans separately has already bumped Redbox stock up. Previously, Netflix allowed customers an all-in-one plan that allowed limited by-mail rentals and all-you-can-eat streaming for $7.99 per month.
Now the price for that option will rise to about $16 per month, though I don’t think gouging is Netflix’s intent. Instead, Netflix is making a move toward what looks like online-only service. (Under “Other,” at the bottom of their How It Works page, they note that it’s still possible to rent by mail.)
The company needs to step up streaming titles availability, but broadband customers will I think be perfectly happy with instant viewing. (I mean, I am. I never bothered to use my all-in-one option to rent by mail.)
That’s all to the good for unsexy Redbox, owned by Bellevue’s equally unsexy Coinstar, who have loaded up the nation’s grocery stores with DVD rental kiosks in the hopes of serving the huge numbers who don’t have broadband, or the tech savvy to integrate Netflix into their entertainment system, or the desire to sign up for monthly contracts just to watch a video now and then. Believe it or not, hordes of these people exist (Redbox has rented over 1 billion DVDs.)
27,000 Redbox locations rent regular DVDs for $1 per day, Blu-ray for $1.50, and now games for $2 (all plus tax). GeekWire reported Redbox’s offering video game rentals at their kiosks as well: “Games for Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be available.” GeekWire is also running a “Time to Dump Netflix?” poll.
The Street’s post, titled “Bet on Coinstar in Netflix Price Hike,” quotes Merriman Capital analyst Eric Wold saying:
After a year of delayed studio deals, aggressive management guidance and inconsistent earnings results, we now believe positive momentum is finally back on Coinstar’s side and Coinstar’s shares are poised to continue their recent move higher. We believe Coinstar’s valuation multiple will expand further with additional positive earnings surprises in the coming quarters, further DVD market share gains, the long-awaited digital strategy announcement and confirmation of accelerated kiosk concept rollouts in 2012.
Market bulls are looking at Coinstar to reach $62; CSTR stock is up over four percent already today, flirting with $60 per share. I don’t pick stocks as a rule, but I suggested that you buy back in January when it had plunged to $41.50. I hope you all got in on that.
In late June, Seeking Alpha suggested that you “Start Collecting Coinstar” as well, pointing out that, “With Redbox rentals, customers do not need to sign monthly contracts and can rent whenever they need to for a price of one dollar. This is the big competitive advantage for Redbox since customers are price sensitive to DVD rentals.”