Analyst: A Netflix Acquisition Makes Sense for Apple

Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. thinks that a Netflix acquisition would make sense for Apple. Mr. Marshall made the comments during an interview on CNBC where he was asked about ways Apple might spend its $51 billion cash hoard. According to the analyst, Netflix’s appeal for Apple is its large movie library.

“I do think that [a Netflix] transaction could make sense,” Mr. Marshall said. “You know, Apple wants to be the first company (in my opinion) to seamlessly integrate the home office and the living room. And what’s limiting them in terms of doing that now now is basically content and better broadband into the home.”

He added, “If you look at content, they have over 10,000 movie titles on iTunes. Netflix obviously has over 100,000 movie titles. I think that would be a pretty interesting marriage right there.”

He said that the numbers make it an easy purchase for Apple. At $10 billion, a Netflix acquisition would represent less than 20% of Apple’s cash holdings — even assuming that such a deal would be all cash — an easy buy for a company that generates more than $5 billion per quarter in cash.

As for Sony, Mr. Marshall dismissed the so-called rumor out of hand, noting that it doesn’t make sense for Apple. Tales of a possible Sony buyout began circulating Tuesday morning, but as The Mac Observer already reported, the source of this rumor was merely a speculative piece on what Apple might do with its money, not an actual leaked source.

You can watch Mr. Marshall’s interview in the video below. His segment begins at the 1:36 mark. Note the quip near the beginning when the anchor, Melissa Lee, asks if the analyst had cornered the CEOs of Netflix or Apple in a coffee shop. Ms. Lee was referencing a recent story when Brian Marshall said that Apple COO Tim Cook had told him in a coffee shop that he wasn’t going to move to HP.

Shares in Apple edged lower Tuesday, ending the day at $308.05, down $0.79 (-0.26%) on light volume of 13.8 million shares trading hands.

CNBC Video