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Netflix shares rise amid analyst upgrade, expansion of Indian partnership

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Netflix shares closed higher in the US Tuesday, as investors shrug off their post-earnings malaise on the stock. The recent upbeat tone has been supported by an upgrade from SunTrust and news that the streaming giant’s partnership with India’s Bharti Airtel, has expanded.

Netflix shares ended the US Tuesday session 1.07% higher at $368.49. The stock had been moving lower until last week when it began to climb, again.

SunTrust upgrades Netflix stock

Investment bank SunTrust has upgraded its Netflix view from ‘hold’, to ‘buy’. The firm’s analyst said that its analysis was currently pointing to strong subscriber growth in the third quarter.

“The stock pullback post the 2Q subs miss (which we attribute to '13 Reasons Why' and World Cup, as previewed) leaves us with ~20% potential upside from current levels,” SunTrust analyst Matthew Thornton said in a recent research note to clients Thursday.

“More important, our India study shows NFLX initial original series resonating quite well with interest in NFLX rising (including relative to competitors) into more originals coming,” Thornton added.

The stock fell out-of-favour with investors in the wake of its Q2 earnings which reported its subscriber growth was lower than had been anticipated.

Netflix, Airtel partnership expands

Separately, Indian telecoms firm Bharti Airtel has announced an expansion of the partnership between it and streaming service Netflix.

Airtel said Monday that: "subscribers of select Airtel Postpaid and V-Fiber Home Broadband plans will receive a three-month gift of a Netflix subscription.”

After that period, Indian subscribers will then be able to pay to keep Netflix through their home, Airtel broadband bills.

In addition to those developments, Netflix has named Rachel Whetstone as its new Chief Communications Officer, following the departure of John Freidland amid complaints of misconduct earlier this year.

Whetstone began her career in UK politics, before joining Google in 2005 where she was Senior VP of Communications and Public Policy between 2010 and 2015. She then worked at Uber for two years, before joining Facebook and finally, Netflix.

“Rachel is a proven communications leader and a strong addition to the Netflix team,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “Her deep knowledge and international expertise will be invaluable as we bring Netflix and its expanding lineup of original content to an increasingly global audience.”

“I’m so excited to be joining Netflix and being part of this amazing company’s story,” Rachel Whetstone said.

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