Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

Variety | 1/17/2019 | Todd Spangler
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Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations on international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year with 139 million streaming members worldwide. The 8.8 million overall net gain was the biggest Q4 in the company’s history. Netflix had forecast Q4 U.S. net additions of 1.5 million paid streaming subscribers and 6.1 million international paid subs, with analyst expectations roughly in line.

Quarter - Netflix - US - United - States

For the current quarter, Netflix forecast 1.6 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.3 million internationally. That’s lower in the United States and higher abroad than expected: Analysts were previously modeling Q1 2019 U.S. net paid subscriber additions at about 2 million and 6.7 million overseas.

The company beat Wall Street estimates on earnings per share but fell a bit short on the top line. Netflix reported $4.187 billion in revenue for Q4 and earnings per share of 30 cents. Wall Street analyst consensus estimates had pegged sales of $4.21 billion and EPS of 24 cents for the period.

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Netflix’s stock fell as much as 4.3% in after-hours trading on the earnings, as investors may have been hoping for a bigger boom in U.S. subscriber and revenue growth.

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The company’s earnings report comes three days after Netflix raised prices of streaming plans in the U.S. and some Latin American markets — prompting the stock to jump 6.5% Tuesday, as investors enthused over the signal of Netflix’s confidence in its subscriber momentum and massive content spending.

In the U.S., the Standard plan (two HD streams) is increasing from $10.99...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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