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Netflix stock goes bananas

May 15, 2013: 12:50 PM ET

"There's always money in the Banana Stand!" George Bluth tells his son, Michael, in the first season of "Arrested Development."

Of course, Michael and his son, George Michael, burned the Banana Stand to the ground, along with $250,000 in illicit cash, in a botched attempt at father-son bonding.

But it looks like there's always money in Netflix -- the home of the fourth season of "Arrested Development" -- too.

The show will make its debut on Netflix (NFLX) next week. The quirky and cerebral Fox sit-com went off the air in 2006.

The return of "Arrested Development" comes as Netflix has staged a dramatic comeback of its own in the stock market. Netflix shares were up 4% Wednesday to a new 52-week high. The stock has surged more than 150% so far this year, making it the best performer in the S&P 500.

In honor of "Arrested Development's" return, the show's creators sent the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand on a world tour that stated in London last week and included stops in New York this week.

The stunt caught the attention of analysts at broker-dealer BTIG, who visited the Banana Stand in New York this week and interviewed nearly 430 fans as they stood in line for the chance to sample an actual frozen banana.

"Arrested Development is clearly increasing the happiness of Netflix subscribers," which should help stabilize the user base, BTIG analysts wrote in a blog post.

It also appears to be increasing the happiness of some Netflix investors, according to traders on StockTwits.

$NFLX just waiting the the Arrested Development reviews to really take off.

$NFLX on fire

$NFLX 245 watch this.. exploding thru

$NFLX all I can say is 500 here we come...keep on shorting boys..heheh Bullish

Netflix has been a heavily shorted stock. So that might be one reason for the big spike. But the company has also been adding subscribers recently as its original programing appears to be gaining traction with consumers.

Netflix signed up more than 2 million new U.S. streaming subscribers in the first quarter, which was at the top end of the company's own predictions. The first quarter included the launch of Netflix's most ambitious original series to date: "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey.

Not everyone was so bullish. One trader noted that the rally came on light volume, suggesting it might not last.


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Ben Rooney
Ben Rooney
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Ben Rooney is a staff writer for CNNMoney. He covers the European debt crisis and other international finance stories, in addition to writing about stocks, bonds, investing and other Wall Street-related news. Follow Ben on Twitter: @ben_rooney

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