TIME Television

The Wet Hot American Summer Trailer Will Get You Pumped for July 4

Count the celebrities

We have the first real (and slightly NSFW) trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and it’s…a prequel? Yep. Though the actors may have aged 14 years, we’re all just going to pretend they’re still teenagers in the Netflix reboot of the cult classic film.

And boy are there are lot of celebrities in this trailer: Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Jason Schwartzman, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Wiig, Lake Bell, Josh Charles, John Slattery, Michael Cera, Jordan Peele…and woah — is that camp director the voice of Archer in Archer?

Happy Independence Day.


Pretty Much Everybody Is Binge-watching TV

TV Addict
FPG—Getty Images I want my binge TV.

A new TiVo survey says 9 out of 10 people binge on television.

If you’ve ever seen the hours melt away as you watched episode after episode of your favorite (or any) television show . . . Congratulations! You’re easily in the majority.

A survey released on Tuesday by TiVo finds that 9 out of 10 people are engaging in “binge viewing,” which the digital video recording company defines as watching more than three episodes of a particular TV show in one day. According to TiVo, 92% of respondents to the company’s latest Binge Viewing Survey said they have engaged in the act of television gluttony at some point.

Not surprisingly, binge-watching is also less frowned upon, with only 30% of respondents reporting a negative view of binge-viewership (there would appear to be some self-loathers in that bunch) compared to two years ago, when more than half of respondents felt the term “binging” had negative connotations.

Most people said they binge-watch simply because they fall behind on watching new episodes of a certain show, while others said they simply didn’t hear about a new show until several episodes had already aired and they wanted to catch up. But 32% of those surveyed said they intentionally avoided watching certain programs until an entire season, or the whole series, had ended so that they could then binge-watch the show.

Of course, you may want to take the report’s findings with a grain of salt. Most of the survey’s respondents are TiVo subscribers (about 30,000 people out of 42,000 surveyed) and one would imagine that people who are willing to pay for the DVR service are also probably more likely to binge-watch recorded shows.

Those who did participate in the survey, though, mostly seem to be doing their binge-watching in one place: Netflix. TiVo found that 66% of those surveyed use Netflix to binge-watch their favorite programs, with Netflix original series House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt topping the list of the most-recently binged upon shows. (Does that mean people are still working their way through the new season of Orange is the New Black?) Those results aren’t all that surprising given all of the work Netflix has done to expand its stable of original content as the online streaming platform looks to challenge more traditional media outlets like broadcast and cable television networks.

Despite binge-watching’s march toward ubiquity, there are still some downsides to the voluntary force-feeding of television series. For instance, 31% of respondents to TiVo’s survey said they have lost sleep to their binging habit while another 37% said they have spent an entire weekend binging on a show.

It may be a contradiction, but please do remember to binge in moderation.

MONEY stocks

What Netflix’s 7-For-1 Stock Split Really Means

from the cast of the hit Netflix original series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK keep the faith at giant 14 foot tall candle-shaped photo booths in New York's Times Square on June 10, 2015. The interactive photo booths project users' photos onto enormous displays in Times Square. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Season 3 premieres Friday, June 12.
Cindy Ord&mdash Getty Images When Netflix's hit series, Orange Is the New Black, returned for its third season on June 12, 2015, the streaming service promoted the show in New York City's Times Square with these 14-foot tall candle-shaped photo booths.

Stock splits don't really create market value.

Netflix NETFLIX INC. NFLX 0.43% has done it. Two weeks ago, the digital video veteran asked shareholders to approve a 30-fold increase in the number of authorized shares. The proposal was approved by 60% of shareholders, and here’s the result: a seven-for-one stock split.

On July 14, each Netflix share will pay a one-time dividend consisting of six additional shares. Technically, you should hold shares at the close of July 2 in order to qualify for this event, but shares traded between those dates will automatically come with a due bill. That’s an IOU that requires the seller to hand over the new split-based shares to the buyer as soon as they are created. All of this is handled by the brokers behind the scenes, so there’s no way to sell your shares and hang on to the stock dividend.

Netflix shares rose nearly 3% on the news, setting the stock up for another all-time record price, and adding more than $1 billion to the stock’s total market value.

Investors clearly love stock splits, and welcomed this one with open arms. But what’s the big deal? Let me give you the lowdown on what stock splits actually do for investors — and what they don’t do.

Nope. Nuh-uh. No way.
First of all, stock splits don’t really create market value. You might think that a sevenfold increase in Netflix’s number of shares might also increase the stock’s total market value. That’s just mathematics, right?

Well, no. Netflix isn’t printing dollar bills here. Instead, it’s dividing the same $41 billion asset into seven times more slices. It’s like splitting a $100 bill into five $20 greenbacks. More paper in your wallet, but the same total value.

You could also imagine that a lower-priced stock can rise faster and easier than a high-priced one. This is certainly true when you’re looking at market caps and enterprise values: A small company can move faster up (or down!) than a large one.

But as we already established, stock splits don’t enter into that equation. Share prices drop drastically overnight, balanced by an equally sharp increase in the number of shares. Net effect on market caps: zero.

It’s also true for valuation metrics. Netflix shares currently trade at 180 times trailing earnings, which is enough to give value investors a heart attack. Once again, the stock split reduces both share prices and earnings-per-share figures sevenfold. After the split, Netflix will still trade in the same nosebleed territory.

And there’s no evidence that low-priced stocks with large market caps would behave any differently on Wall Street’s trading floors than an equally large company with a higher share price. Penny stocks jump and dive like (un-)synchronized swimmers, but not because of the low dollar value assigned to each stock stub. They make wild swings because the whole enterprise is vanishingly small and difficult to analyze. Netflix doesn’t play in that league at all.

This seven-for-one stock split will not, cannot, and shall not change the value of your Netflix holdings. There’s no mathematical miracle taking place here, and whatever value we Netflix investors might gain from this event must depend on other effects.

What will this stock split do in the real world? Here are some of the actual effects that may or may not make a difference to Netflix investors.

For the most part, it’s not about increasing share price. Instead, this move lets investors manage their holdings with a lighter touch.

All per-share figures will forevermore be divided by seven. This will shrink the range of analyst estimates and reported results, diminishing the headline impact of earnings reports.

For example, in last year’s second-quarter report, Netflix presented earnings of $1.15 per share while analysts had expected $1.16 per share. That’s a $0.01 miss.

If Netflix had split its shares seven-for-one before that report, you’d be dealing with both estimates and reported earnings at $0.16 per share. Or the earnings surprise of $0.31 per share in the recently reported first quarter would have been a $0.04 outperformance. Rounding errors would move that 45% surprise to 55%. So the earnings beat looks smaller on the dollar-value surface, but bigger in percentage terms.

All of these transformations are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. This exercise only underscores the loose mathematics investors have to deal with all the time. Everyone is shooting from the hip, and more decimal points just leave more room for speculation and errors. That’s especially true for forecasts, and will remain so until a flawless crystal ball hits the market.

Where was I? Right: Real results from this stock split. There are a few more.

Investors with very small budgets can soon afford to grab a slice of Netflix. At nearly $700 per share, Netflix may have priced itself out of reach for really tight investing budgets. A new $100 share price should allow very restricted portfolios to join the market action.

Moreover, some brokers charge higher fees for very small transactions. Some prefer so-called “whole lots” — or batches of 100 shares per trade. Standard stock options also represent either 10 or 100 shares per contract. On that scale, the minimum Netflix investment just dropped from $70,000 to $10,000. That’s the difference between a fully loaded German luxury sedan and a rusty second-hand clunker. High share prices can indeed keep some investors out of the market, and stock splits work around that problem.

But do watch out for commission fees if you’re playing on that level. Most online brokers charge between $5 and $10 per trade. Buying one $700 share of Netflix works out to between 0.7% and 1.4% of the total trade, which isn’t horrible.

But buying a single $100 share comes with between 5% and 10% in trading fees. That’s a steep cut, taken right out of your overall returns. So if you really want to buy a single $100 Netflix share per month, it’s still a good idea to save up for a while, and then grab several low-priced shares for a single commission fee. In terms of making the most of your investing assets, this seven-for-one split doesn’t really help much.

You do get more fine-grained control over your Netflix holdings. Buying $1,000 worth of Netflix currently amounts to a share and a half. You won’t find many brokers willing to handle that trade. Soon, it will be a simple 10-share lot. I can’t think of a case where this subtle modification really matters to your long-term results, but I’m sure they exist.

Finally, a lower share price may actually help Netflix in some very specialized situations.

Remember how Apple performed its own seven-for-one split, and then joined the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average? The Dow move would never have happened without the stock split. We’re talking about a price-weighted index, which means that high-priced stocks move the Dow further and faster than low-priced ones. Without that split, the Dow would have been dominated by a bulky Apple stock.

I’m not saying that Netflix belongs on the Dow yet. Today, it would be the second-smallest Dow member counting by market cap. Splitting the stock is not a guaranteed ticket to Dowsville.

Do come back in a few years, however, when Netflix’s international expansion plans have played out. The media industry is under represented on this popular index, and Netflix may one day earn a space there. It might take another split at that point, but the 30-fold share authorization leaves room for that.

Read next: Why Netflix Is Splitting Its Stock

The fine-grained nature of a higher share count also makes a difference to share-based buyouts. For example, Berkshire Hathaway split its Class B shares 50-fold when it bought national rail carrier Burlington Northern Santa Fe. That split shielded many Burlington shareholders from a forced, taxable sale if their holdings didn’t add up to a full Berkshire B stub.

Netflix isn’t known for its large buyout appetite; but you never know. This effect might come into play one fine day. Just don’t hold your breath.

Perception is reality
At the end of the day, Netflix’s stock split is a show for the gallery. There’s psychological value in having a low share price. Small investors don’t get intimidated, and larger investors might even see an illusory discount. Hey, we’re all human (except for the robo-traders).

If nothing else, it’s a vote of confidence from Netflix, its management, the board of directors, and the shareholders who approved the share increase. It’s the opposite of a reverse split, which is a move invoked only when stocks are in deep trouble, and may fall below the market’s listing thresholds.

A company would also look silly to push through a stock split, followed by an organic price drop. Netflix is telling the world that the future looks solid, with agreement from all the stakeholders I just listed. And that’s worth something, right?

Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix.

More From Motley Fool:

TIME Netflix

Netflix Is Launching In This Massive New Market

Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  (Paul Sakuma Photography) www.paulsakuma.com
Paul Sakuma—Paul Sakuma

Beware power cuts, and fiber-optic cable-eating monkeys

With subscribers in over 40 countries, Netflix has set its sights on one of the biggest markets known to Internet TV companies: India.

The company plans to expand its 62-million customer base with a launch in India in 2016, sources told The Times of India. The service will include popular local shows such as Buniyaad, Nukkad, and Malgudi Days, and will be available on Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

The move into India is notable for two reasons.

First, it continues the global expansion of the movie-streaming company with ambitions of hitting 200 countries by the end of next year. “We now believe we can complete our global expansion over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than we expected,” said CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to investors earlier this year.

Second, India is huge, and companies are speeding toward a growing market of eager web surfers. The nation of 1.2 billion people leads the world in Internet user growth across all platforms, according to the 2015 Internet Trends report by Kleiner Perkins. India has over 240 million Internet users, and added 63 million new users last year, the report said. It is the second largest market for Facebook and LinkedIn, and Amazon and Alibaba are duking it out for dominance of India’s $6 billion online retail industry. Clearly, the country is a potential cash cow for a company like Netflix.

The company has several challenges ahead. India’s broadband connection speeds are two times less than the global average, and they rank among the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region. For Netflix to thrive in the country, potential online moviegoers must fight through power cuts, jam-packed cities and, well, hungry, fiber-optic cable-eating monkeys.

Netflix said on Tuesday its board of directors has approved a seven-for-one stock split.

TIME Investing

Here’s How Much Carl Icahn Made On His Netflix Investment

CNBC Events - Season 2014
CNBC—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images CNBC's Scott Wapner interviews Carl Icahn, Chairman, Icahn Enterprises at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.

He received an awfully lovely parting gift

Carl Icahn tweeted on Wednesday that he was out of Netflix. He received an awfully lovely parting gift.

The famed investor made a reported $2 billion on his investment in the online streaming service. After announcing a 7-for-1 stock split on Tuesday, Netflix stock reached a record high Wednesday just before Icahn sold the last of his shares.

Icahn became one of Netflix’s largest shareholders in 2012 after taking a 10% stake at $58 per share. He acquired the stock with the expectation that the company would soon be acquired. Icahn’s prediction was wrong but the trade still paid off. Since the fall of 2012, Netflix’s stock has spiked more than 12-fold and has nearly doubled in this year alone.

[Business Insider]

TIME Netflix

Why Activist Investor Carl Icahn Dumped His Last Netflix Shares

Key Speakers At The Robin Hood Investors Summit
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Robin Hood Investors Conference in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

Carl Icahn announced on his Twitter Wednesday that he’s sold his last Netflix shares.

Icahn Enterprises, which owned about 1.4 million Netflix shares at the end of 2015’s first quarter, made the move after Netflix announced approval of a 7-for-1 stock split, according to CNBC.

Per the publication:

The split will come in the form of a dividend of six additional shares for each outstanding share, Netflix said. It is payable on July 14 to stock owners of record at the July 2 close. Trading at the post-split price will start July 15.

CNBC reported, too, that Netflix stocks dipped slightly after Icahn’s message on the social media service.

Here’s Icahn’s Twitter message announcing the decision:

Netflix has expanded in recent years becoming not only a streaming service for television and film, but also a developer of new movies and TV shows.

TIME Television

Relive the Glory of Camp in the Trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

“What are you doing this summer?”

In the closing scene of Wet Hot American Summer, the counselors make a pact that they’ll meet again in the same spot ten years later. It’s been 14 years, but the gang is returning this summer, albeit in a new spot: Netflix. The series, a prequel to the movie, will focus on the first day of summer camp, when the counselors meet.

Instead of directly promoting the new series, this trailer advertises its fictional setting: Camp Firewood. Narrated in a masterfully unenthused monotone by H. Jon Benjamin, who plays Christopher Meloni’s pep-talking Can of Vegetables in the original movie, the trailer plays like a grainy VHS video, complete with interludes of snowy static and some poor editing over a homemade sex tape.

Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and other members of the original cast — who were around a decade too old to play camp counselors the first time around and are now, consequently, two decades too old — return with a handful of new additions, including Kristen Wiig, Randall Park and Jon Hamm.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp debuts July 31 on Netflix.

TIME Television

Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson Will Play Brothers in New Netflix Series

Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson at the People: Spring Collection in West Hollywood, Calif. on March 6, 2012.
Todd Oren—WireImage/Getty Images Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson at the People: Spring Collection in West Hollywood, Calif. on March 6, 2012.

The actors also will join 'The Ranch' as producers

It’ll be a That ’70s Show reunion on Netflix’s new series The Ranch. The straight-to-series comedy will star Ashton Kutcher as a semi-pro football player who returns home to Colorado to run the family business with brother Danny Masterson, Deadline reports.

Kutcher and Masterson will produce the 20-episode series, which will premiere in two 10-episode batches over the course of a year, according to Deadline. Two and a Half Men executive producers and co-showrunners Don Reo and Jim Patterson will write and executive produce The Ranch, and Kutcher and Masterson will produce.

The Ranch marks Netflix’s second original multi-camera comedy series — Full House reboot Fuller House being the first. The series is set to debut on the streaming service in 2016.

Netflix declined to comment on Deadline’s report.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Media

5 Reasons Streaming Is Making DVDs Extinct

Netflix Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The Netflix Inc. application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

Discs are going the way of the Dinosaurs television series

Science tells us that the dinosaurs lasted almost 200 million years, though if we look it up their lifespan on the Internet Movie Database, it’s documented that Dinosaurs had just a scant four season run. But thanks to DVDs, fans of this pre-historic sitcom can relive the yucks forever.

Well, not really. DVDs are going the way of both the dinosaurs and Dinosaurs, and no one seems all that upset about it. But how can it be that this once highly-touted technology is on track to become as extinct as the 8-track? Hurtling towards the DVD ecosystem like a meteorite, the growing popularity of streaming video services is killing the video disc.

But DVDs’ demise won’t be caused by one cataclysmic event. Here are five reasons that streaming sending discs to the digital graveyard:

Money: Aside from the grocery store bargain bin, when was the last time you actually bought a DVD? Admit it, you can’t remember. According to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, this year streaming revenues will surpass DVD sales for the first time, and you better believe Hollywood is following the money. So is the electronics industry, as sales of DVD players began declining back in 2006. Since then, devices ranging from gaming consoles to Blu-Ray players have taken their place — the latest, of course, being streaming media boxes like the Roku and Apple TV.

Read more: Set-Top Showdown: Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV vs Roku

Physical Limitations: As consumers increasingly look to streamline their living room, DVD players and collections have been deemed too big to keep around. With smart televisions touting access to services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, many TV viewers are opting to not have their pristine flat screens look like they’re tethered to an accessory from 2003. And for those rare sets that don’t pack smarts, low-profile dongles like Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick can get them connected to online content for under $40.

Read more: Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Google Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick

Home Videos: In a 2005 requiem for VHS tapes, The Washington Post declared video cassettes dead, commenting how “without it, 29 years’ worth of rainy weekends would have dragged on ceaselessly, movielessly.” That’s a long time for any technology, and VHS likely only lasted that long because of the proliferation of home video cameras that flooded everything from theme parks to school talent shows each year. But DVD-recording never caught on in that same vein, as flash memory-based recorders like the Flipcam (and then the smartphone, of course) took the home video reigns from there. If DVDs would’ve lasted as long as VHS, we’d still be lousy with discs until 2024 at least.

Television Shows: It might be a while before the blockbuster movie you missed comes out on a subscription streaming service — if it ever does. But hot television shows, especially ones from cable networks, are another deal altogether. Big movies first make money for studios in the theaters, then in movie sales (whether it’s on disc or download), and next in the video rental circuit. By the time they’re ready to stream, they typically anchor a collection of other movies, most of which aren’t very good. So, for example, for every Marvel Avengers movie Netflix gets, it also gets some straight-to-video schlock, too.

Television shows, meanwhile, have found great success going straight to streaming a season or so after airtime, getting more eyeballs (and potentially pulling in new viewers to its current season) and demanding higher fees while their social currency is high. For instance, what would you rather watch right now, The Sopranos or Mad Men? But notably absent from the television show timeline is DVD sales, because who wants to pay $40 for a season when you can get the same thing with your Amazon Prime membership?

Time: Nothing lasts forever, not The Wire, and not even movies burned onto DVDs. According to the National Archives, recorded DVDs are documented to live as long as 25 years or more, but in reality they only last about two to five years. Manufactured DVDs are another story — their lives vary wildly. For instance, the average Lego Movie survives about two weeks in a household with children under the age of 12 (just kidding!). But streaming services don’t scratch, skip, or warp, and for less than the cost of a movie, consumers get a much larger library to choose from. It’s a no-brainer of a deal, and one that more people are choosing as time goes on. Then again, some don’t have a choice. For instance, if you want to watch The Simpsons in the future, you’re going to need to download an app. D’oh!


See Roles You Didn’t Realize Orange Is the New Black Stars Also Played

Piper Chapman in a Nicholas Sparks movie. For real

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