Netflix shares are tumbling on fears that Apple is serious about TV

Netflix shares are cratering today, on news that Apple is in talks with Comcast to gin up a new streaming television service.

Netflix shares were down about 7.3% on the news, making them the worst performer in the US benchmark S&P 500 index. The decline brings Netflix’s year-to-date gain down to about 2.6%. (In early March, the shares were up nearly 24% since the beginning of the year.)

Monday’s performance for Netflix was its worst since the 9.2% decline it saw on Oct. 22, after activist investor Carl Icahn announced he was lightening up on his stake in the firm. Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.34.53 AM Of course, even with today’s selloff, Netflix shares have been the investment of a lifetime. Since the end of 2012, the stock is up more than 300%, compared to a 30% gain for the S&P 500. Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.12.04 PM But with Apple showing increasing interest in the streaming video sector, Netflix looks like it will no longer be the unquestioned king of a rapidly developing new market. In other words, investors who have ridden the stock for a while might be thinking it’s time to take some chips off the table.

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