Netflix shares up after Wedbush Morgan upgrade

LOS ANGELES, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Shares of Netflix Inc NFLX.O rose more than 4 percent on Tuesday after a Wedbush Morgan analyst upgraded the shares of the online DVD rental company to "hold" from "sell," saying the competitive environment for U.S. movie rentals is improving.

Analyst Michael Pachter said he expects Netflix to be helped by the expected bankruptcy later this year of rival Movie Gallery MOVI.O and decreased marketing by Blockbuster Inc BBI.N.

Pachter also raised his price target for Netflix to $18 from $15. Netflix reported the first-ever decline in its subscriber base last quarter as a result of pressure from Blockbuster’s Total Access plan.

Shares of Netflix were up 4.2 percent, or 73 cents per share, at $18.25 on Nasdaq on Tuesday.

((Reporting by Gina Keating, editing by Mark Porter; Reuters Messaging:; +1 213 955 6776)) Keywords: NETFLIX SHARES/

C Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution ofReuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expresslyprohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuterssphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group ofcompanies around the world.nN04404717