You pay $150 billion for that, and it’s a lot of risk. You might never make any money. The Clippers make money, and they’re going to make more money. As a multiple of earnings, you’re paying less than you are for almost every tech stock. You have very limited downside because there will never be more than two teams in Los Angeles.
I think the multiples of technology stocks should be quite a bit lower than the multiples of stocks like Coke and Gillette, because we are subject to complete changes in the rules. I know very well that in the next ten years, if Microsoft is still a leader, we will have had to weather at least three crises.
The reality is that the only thing that’s the same from Nasdaq 4000 in 1999 and Nasdaq 4000 in 2013 is the number 4000.
Despite the huge swings in our stock price since our 2002 IPO ($8 to $3 to $39 to $8 to $300 to $55 to $330), we’ve continued to grow our membership every year fairly steadily. We do our best to ignore the volatility in our stock. The progress we’ve made over the last 10 years is stunning. We want to make the next 10 years even more remarkable.
You could certainly argue that Netflix is an even more volatile stock than Apple — because it clearly is. And Hastings is smart to try to calm the furor in a time of exuberance. You’re never neither as good nor as bad as they say you are — but you can only really say that when they’re saying you’re good.
As I write this, our recent stock performance has been positive, but we constantly remind ourselves of an important point – as I frequently quote famed investor Benjamin Graham in our employee all-hands meetings – “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” We don’t celebrate a 10% increase in the stock price like we celebrate excellent customer experience. We aren’t 10% smarter when that happens and conversely aren’t 10% dumber when the stock goes the other way. We want to be weighed, and we’re always working to build a heavier company.