Netflix surges on user gains, strong profits

Netflix surges on user gains, strong profits

The number of both United States and worldwide subscribers grew at a clip over the month, with Netflix adding 1.09 million new subscribers in the USA and 5.87 million internationally.

Netflix had told investors it expected to add about five million members in the quarter.

Those stellar numbers sent shares of Netflix up more than 11 percent in after-market trading, to $386.11. Nor does the company release viewership figures for programs, contending that subscriber growth demonstrates the popularity of its entertainment slate. It now has 137m subscribers overall, 135m of whom pay monthly fees. Wall Street analysts had expected Netflix to add about 5.2 million streaming customers in the quarter.

The company also gave a bullish forecast for growth in the fourth quarter, predicting that it would bring in 9.4 million new subscribers. While most of that still funds shows licensed from other companies, original programs account for a growing share. Those markets boosted Netflix again in the third quarter, contributing 5.87 million new customers.

"We want to assure investors that we have the same high confidence in the underlying economics as our cash investments in the past", Netflix said in its letter.

The world's largest paid online TV network added far more subscribers than analysts forecast in the third quarter and issued an upbeat outlook for the current three months, rebounding from a slowdown earlier this year. The company has parlayed that into huge gains for investors.

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Analysts had cut their price targets for Netflix shares ahead of its earnings report, citing a combination of the strength of the dollar, rising expenses and interest rates.

Netflix is the first of the so-called Faang companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) to report this quarter.

The Silicon Valley company has been ramping up its investment in original programming as it faces increased competition from rivals like Hulu and Amazon, and traditional media firms begin to enter the market for streaming and limit content to outside parties.

"It'll probably still be the case that they're going to stick to raising debt twice a year", he said. Net income came in at 89 cents per share, beating Wall Street's number by 21 cents a share.

Netflix has spent almost $7 billion on programming through the first nine months of the year, and plans to boost its investment in the years to come.

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