Netflix (NFLX) stock briefly hit an all-time high of $628.50 per share on Tuesday after an analyst at equity research firm Pivotal Research Group increased the stock’s end-of-year target price to $850, a boost of 38% over the stock’s Monday closing price of $650.
According to MarketWatch, the optimism stems from the company’s international rollout strategy; Pivotal analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak revised his prediction for total number of international paying subscribers to 95 million from 78 million, with total subscribers jumping up to 160 million from 138 million.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Netflix is planning to enter the Chinese market. The company is reportedly in talks with Chinese media company Wasu Media Holding Co., headed up by Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma, for a deal that would allow it to tap into what is expected to be a 90 billion yuan market by 2018.
Wlodarczak says China could give the company an additional 13.5 million paying subscribers, while South Korea would add another 2.5 million.
Last month, the company announced its domestic subscriber base had crossed the 40 million mark at the end of the first quarter, according to Forbes. The company also reportedly plans to produce 320 hours of original content in 2015, up from roughly 110 hours of original programming in 2014, helping to boost its overall consumer favorability. Netflix’s popular House of Cards and Orange is the New Black series have earned multiple Emmy awards.
In other Netflix-related news, it is now easier than ever for copyright pirates to watch their favorite films. This week, Popcorn Time, the “Netflix of piracy,” introduced an in-browser application that does not require the user to download an application or torrent files to their computer. According to file-sharing news website TorrentFreak, Hollywood is having a tough time cracking down on the popular service.