Netflix shares hit record high as valuation overtakes Disney

Netflix shares rose to record highs today amid surging demand during the coronavirus lockdown, pushing its market capitalisation past fierce rival Disney.

The US streaming giant’s stock rose more than three per cent in afternoon trading to $440 per share, having closed at a record high of $426.75 yesterday.

The rise took Netflix’s market valuation to more than $193bn, ahead of the $183bn price tag for rival entertainment behemoth Disney.

It comes as millions of viewers tune in to TV shows and films as they stay at home during the coronavirus crisis.

While Netflix does not reveal details about its viewing figures, the streaming firm has garnered praise for its wildly popular documentary series Tiger King.

It also offers reruns of classic shows such as Friends and The Office, which are reportedly among the platform’s most-viewed content.

Disney has also cashed in on the lockdown, with its recently-launched streaming service Disney Plus hitting 50m subscribers earlier this month.

But the House of Mouse has been harder hit by the pandemic in other parts of its empire, and the company has been forced to close its theme parks and cancel cruises.

Despite the current viewing boom, however, both media firms are likely to be hit by the shutdown in filming, which will impact content slates for 2021.

Netflix is setto report its first-quarter earnings next week — its first since the launch of Disney Plus in the UK.