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Netflix reaches 125m subs with revenue surge for Q1

17 April, 2018, 20:35 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Lost In Space Netflix TV Series 2018

Wedbush set a $93.00 price objective on Netflix and gave the stock a "sell" rating in a research note on Friday, January 19th.

Netflix shares gained more than 7% in premarket trading on Tuesday as the streaming giant easily beat analysts' expectations for subscriber growth in its first fiscal quarter of 2018.

USA new additions were also healthy at 1.96 million. But Hastings also said that the company hadn't changed its view on expanding in China, and will continue to license content.

GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said the results showed "the company's aggressive global expansion strategy" was bearing fruit. The firm had revenue of $3.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.69 billion.

On a conference call with analysts, Netflix executives admitted to being surprised by the company's current level of success.

That said, Pachter warns, "we don't expect positive FCF for several years".

Much of that growth is now coming from overseas. The company added 7.41 million net paid subscribers in the first quarter, including 1.96 million in the US alone.

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During the first quarter of this year, Netflix launched 18 original series, 11 new seasons for existing original series, and 14 new original movies, according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush.

Recent talk shows from the likes of David Letterman should be considered entertainment, not news, he stressed. "We try not to let the business models get in the way of making great programming for our customers".

One thing that's not on the spending slate, Sarandos said, is news programming.

"Given that the vast majority of Netflix's content (including the bulk of its "originals") is licensed; so long as that is true, Netflix's content spend is likely to grow in lock step with its revenue growth".

Hastings also pointed out the Netflix spends $10 billion on content and marketing versus $1.3 billion on tech. Netflix's revenue for the quarter was up 32.6% on a year-over-year basis. It also reportedly coughed up $300 million to hire Ryan Murphy, the power producer behind "Glee".

Looking ahead to the next quarter, Netflix was once again, positive. The stock price fell precipitously and subscribers cancelled over a few months in 2011 after the company split its streaming service from its DVD-by-mail service, a move that amounted to a 60% price increase for customers who wanted to keep both. The global front brought another beat to the table for the giant, with Netflix adding 5.46 million net subscribers against the analyst's expectations for 5.25 million and far surpassing its own guide of 4.90 million. Netflix will release about 700 original pieces of programming this year, including about 80 movies (more than any studio), more than one stand-up special a week and as many unscripted series as any United States cable network.

Netflix faces increasing competition from Amazon and Disney, which have their own offerings, as well as traditional media companies and technology companies such as Apple. Even Facebook is pushing deeper into video content. (Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings sits on its board). The total is nearly a million more than Wall Street analysts predicted Netflix would reach by this time.

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