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Quote of the Day


“Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us) because they are afraid to hurt their initial business.”

-Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. His company IPOed on this day in 2002 at a price of $15 per share. Also, I think this is an important lesson for investors that past performance does not equate to future success.


May 23rd – This Day in Stock Market History

May 23rd, 2002 – Netflix (Ticker: NFLX) IPOs at $15 per share. Shares trade as high as $17.40 on the day, and close at $16.75, finishing up 12%. The first day of trading gave the company a market cap of $345 million. How much has Netflix grown since its IPO in 2002?


2001 Revenue: $75 million

2017 Revenue: $11.6 billion


Market Cap at IPO: $375 million

Market Cap 17 years later: $152 billion


The stock has undergone a couple share splits since. Adjusting for future splits, Netflix IPOed at $1.07, traded as high as $1.24 and closed at $1.19 a share.

Today shares trade over $300:


Like many of today’s successful companies, Netflix did have its troubles early on.

The company originally planned its IPO for 2000, but the bursting of the tech bubble led them to delay the IPO for 2 years. The company’s stock declined for the first 8 months after its IPO, falling more than 50% in the first 6 months:

(Share price in the chart below is split-adjusted, and comes from Macrotrends)


It would take nearly a year for Netflix stock to recover back to its IPO price. Shares would also fall 77% in 2004, 50% in 2006-2007, 50% in 2008-2009, and 82% in 2011-2012.



For more early Netflix numbers, see the original S-1 filed with the SEC on May 22nd


May 23rd, 1946 – The nation’s largest organized strike in history begins as 99 percent of the nation’s railroad workers walk off the job.

New York Times Coverage of railroad strike
New York Times Coverage of railroad strike

Here is how the strike was covered in the news at the time:

The strike would cripple the nation for 3 days, and lead to President Truman to threaten to deploy the army to run the rail lines.

The strike would lead to the New York Stock Exchange closing on May 25th.


May 23rd, 1922 – Walt Disney incorporates his first company, Laugh-O-Gram films, in Kansas City Missouri.

The company would produce several short films before declaring bankruptcy a year later.

However Disney’s time was not wasted. His studio had a mouse that would be the inspiration for a new character many years later – Mickey Mouse.


After Laugh-O-Gram failed, Disney would sell his movie camera for a one-way ticket to Hollywood, California – Where he would have a little more luck!

Best May 23rd in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1933 – Up 3.90%, 3.12 points.


Worst May 23rd in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1903 – Down 1.85%, 0.84 points.



Read of the Day

Netflix Q1 2018 shareholder letter (which as links to the last couple years of letter within)

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