Massive subscriber growth for Netflix

17 October, 2018, 18:04 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Credit Netflix

Netflix added 1.09 million subscribers in the USA, and 5.87 million internationally, bringing the total number of subscribers to 137 million.

Investors pushed up Netflix shares by 12% in after-hours trade, following a disappointing second-quarter report that sent the stock reeling.

Shares rallied 14% on the news. Said eMarketer media analyst Paul Verna.

Among the new shows released last quarter, "Sacred Games" stands out. 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.

While investors focus on subscriber growth, Netflix has been trying to get them to pay more attention to another metric - average subscription prices. Netflix said it expects subscribers to grow by another 9.4 million in the fourth quarter, up 13% compared to previous year. Nor does the company release viewership figures for programs, contending that its subscriber growth demonstrates the popularity of its entertainment slate. Of that total, 1.09 million are based in the USA, while 5.87 million are based overseas. Analysts were expecting 4.8 million - 600,000 in the U.S. and 4.2 million internationally, according to Nomura Instinet. "Quotas, regardless of market size, can negatively impact both the customer experience and creativity", Hastings said. Netflix also bundled its Basic subscription plan to postpaid customers who spent more than Rs 1,299 per month. Wall Street anticipated earnings per share of 68 cents on sales of $4 billion.

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Not only is the company's consumer value proposition "compelling", global subscriber additions and streaming revenue are "accelerating", and it has pricing power and expanding corporate margins, the analyst said. Producing world-class content isn't cheap and Netflix is likely to see a cash burn increase from $2 billion last year to 3.3 billion this year.

Netflix is behind shows such as The Crown and Orange Is The New Black. It has issued a net $7.5 billion of bonds in less than three years, though that could carry a cost in a changing economic environment.

At the same time, Netflix faces competition from deep-pocketed companies such as Amazon and new streaming services from Walt Disney Co and AT&T Inc that are expected late next year.

That's because at its current voracious pace of spending on original content such as House of Cards, Netflix is running the risk of ballooning debt and surging interest payments that could surprisingly hammer the bottom line.

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