A Fool Looks Back


It's September! Do you know what your Netflix (NAS: NFLX) monthly rate is?

The video buffet operator's new rates kicked in with the monthly billing cycles that began Thursday. Those on DVD plans that included instant streaming at no additional cost are seeing their rates climb by $6 a month.

Netflix is going to lose some karma points with how the integration is playing out. Subscribers aren't being asked to opt in to the new premium streaming option. It will just show up on their bills, instead of simply defaulting folks on dual plans to the disc-only memberships that many likely originally signed up for over the years.

There's obviously plenty at stake here, and it doesn't look good that Netflix just happened to lose its bid to renew its streaming deal with Liberty Starz (NAS: LSTZA) on the same day as the new rates kicked in.

If Netflix only gets hit with a modest spike in churn, its revenue and profitability should spike dramatically higher. It's going to be an interesting month for Netflix, that's for sure.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Costco (NAS: COST) CEO Jim Sinegal announced that he would be retiring in January. I wonder if he'll take his pension package in bulk?

  • Big-ticket home improvement projects may have been hard sells this summer, but small furnishings held up well. Pier 1 Imports (NYS: PIR) posted a 10.8% spike in same-store sales this past quarter.

  • Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) inked a multi-year broadcasting agreement with IMG College and Learfield Sports to keep its college sports programming booming. In short, it's more ammo to justify next year's rate increase.

  • Apple (NAS: AAPL) remains the top dog when it comes to video-on-demand with nearly two-thirds of the market, but Wal-Mart's (NYS: WMT) Vudu has emerged on the scene by jumping into third place over the past year. See. It didn't all go bad after Sam Walton went away.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Costco, and Wal-Mart. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart, Costco, Netflix, and Apple; creating a bull call spread position in Apple; creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart; and buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizrecommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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