Netflix eclipses Disney's stock market value

Netflix remote

Netflix remote

The market-cap horse race between Netflix and Disney matters because it shows that investors believe Netflix - even though its business is much smaller today - has as much upside going forward as the 94-year-old Walt Disney Co.

Netflix, the streaming service giant that is continually producing such original sci-fi content as Altered Carbon, Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Bright, Lost in Space, Dark and The Rain, saw its stock reach a record high of $351.09 per share as of 12:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, giving the company a market cap of almost $162 billion. But the victory was a short one, with Disney's $152.03 billion value barely edging out Netflix's $151.85 billion worth, when the markets closed. The cable giant is now valued at about $145.5 billion.

The Netflix home screen for the original series "Stranger Things". The streaming giant has more than 125 million total paid subscribers worldwide, including more than 56 million in the U.S. Company officials say Netflix will spend $8 billion on original content in 2018.

The company even announced a price hike for subscribers previous year, but that hasn't slowed its growth.

The tables might turn when Disney releases its own in-home streaming media platform.

Disney launched a $4.99 ESPN streaming service in April and is expected to debut a second streaming option built around its Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel television and film content in 2019. While much of the attention was on Disney getting access to Marvel characters it now doesn't have the screen rights too, for The Mouse, the bigger fish is Fox's share of Hulu, and Sky Television. Nor has Amazon Prime Video. On Wednesday, Netflix's market cap surpassed that of cable and media giant Comcast, which now has a market cap of roughly $144 billion. Updated with day's final numbers, and Netflix closing out behind Disney. The Justice Department has sued to block AT&T from buying Time Warner. Verizon owns AOL and Yahoo.

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