Netflix Adds 7 Million Subscribers, Beats Estimates, Sends Stock Soaring 12%

Netflix just keeps growing larger than anyone predicted it would

Q4 is usually the most lucrative time for Netflix in terms of growth and revenue and there's no reason to see why this year will be any different.

Netflix's record-setting level of new programming paid off.

The growth was stronger than expected, prompting the firm's shares to jump more than 10% in after-hours trade. The company also added 6.96 million new subscribers, handily beating analysts' expectations. All of this came against the backdrop of a missed second quarter subscriber growth forecast, a dip in its share price and worries that its...

Netflix will face stiff competition, with Walt Disney, the world's largest entertainment company, looking to launch its own on-demand services next year, as is AT&T, the parent of Warner Bros and HBO.

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Netflix had told investors it expected to add about five million members in the quarter. The four make up the so-called FANG group of high-growth companies that in recent months has lost some of its momentum following market-leading gains in recent years.

KeyBanc Capital Markets' Andy Hargreaves lowered his rating for Netflix shares to Sector Weight from Overweight, citing concerns over the company's long-term profitability. The company has already said it will boost spending in 2019, but investors could get a better sense of just how much the streaming service plans to lay out and whether it will need to borrow again.

Analysts pointed to the streaming giant's "solid trends" in India, and said homegrown shows there like Sacred Games and Ghoul bode well for future growth as it ramps up across some of the developing world's most populous markets.

Analysts estimate that it added about 676 hours of original programming in the USA in the most recent quarter, 135% more than in the same period a year earlier. In the third quarter a year ago, Netflix posted $2.99 billion in sales. Netflix doesn't break out its customers by market, with the exception of the USA, though most analysts agree the UK, Brazil, Canada and Mexico rank among the company's largest. Wall Street anticipated earnings per share of 68 cents on sales of $4 billion. The streaming service's May 2027 euro bond surged to a three-month high on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "The answer: an aberration, likely the results of a somewhat low volume of new content last quarter". While most of that still funds shows licensed from other companies, original programs account for a growing share.

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