Netflix Earnings

Netflix shares were up by more than 12% in after hours trading following its 1Q earnings results late Wed. The company surpassed 40mln US subs, 20mln international, and 60mln in total subs in the quarter. Subs streamed 10bln hours in the period. It added a record 4.9mln new subs globally in 1Q, against its forecast of 4.1mln and prior year of 4mln. In the US, it gained 2.3mln new members, above its previous expectation of 1.8mln because it acquired and retained more members than forecast. Internationally, it added 2.6mln subs versus a forecast of 2.25mln thanks to stronger than expected growth across several markets. Net income suffered because of currency-related transaction losses included in other expenses, whose exclusion would have driven earnings per share to $0.77 versus $0.38. Moving forward, the company will increase its spending on promotion of its original content. It’s also spending more of its marketing dollars online. “This allows us to more finely target audiences and to deliver the right marketing message to the right person at the right time, particularly on mobile devices,” the company said in a letter to investors. The company plans to upgrade its TV user interface in the second half of 2015, bringing video playback into the browse experience. “We are also developing improved ways to promote Netflix originals to our members, using our data to help identify which members would be most likely to enjoy each original title.” Netflix doesn’t see HBO’s standalone OTT service HBO Now as a competitor: Netflix and HBO “are not substitutes for one another given differing content.” In addition, streaming services such as Sony’s Playstation Vue and DISH’s Sling TV are more competitive to the pay-TV bundle than to Netflix, according to the company.

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