Chart: Netflix shares crush S&P, Nasdaq indexes

Interesting chart illustrates the big returns Netflix has generated for investors over the past five years.

Netflix

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Netflix just released a graph that looks at how the company's stock has treated shareholders over the past five years.

The No. 1 video rental service compared its total cumulative stockholder return for the past five years with those from the Nasdaq Composite Index, the S&P 500 Index, and the S&P North American Technology Internet Index.

Simply said, Netflix tore it up. The company's shares jumped beyond $247 this week, setting an all-time high for the stock. After stomping brick-and-mortar rivals Blockbuster and Movie Gallery into jelly, CEO Reed Hastings sped the company into Internet distribution. Netflix is available on more than 200 different Web-connected devices with no competitor even close to that kind of broad distribution. Wall Street has lapped it up.

But everyone is keeping an eye on the company's expenses, which could go through the roof if the major film studios demand huge licensing fees.

Here's what Netflix said about the chart: The measurement points are from the last day of trading for each of the past five years. "Total cumulative stockholder return assumes $100 invested at the beginning of the period" for Netflix as well as for the indexes.

The company also included the reinvestment of any dividends.

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