Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell into a nosedive after its earnings report last night as investors realized that it was no longer growing its subscribers as quickly as it was before. In fact, the company didn’t even make its own guidance for subscriber additions for the September quarter.
That big miss cost activist investor Carl Icahn boat loads of money (actually it’s just pocket change to him).
Carl Icahn loses big on Netflix
Linette Lopez of Business Insider estimates that Icahn’s stake in Netflix lost $200 million since yesterday. Within just minutes of the company’s earnings release, shares plummeted by more than 25% after hours last night.
Assuming that Icahn still held the nearly 1.8 million Netflix shares he had as of the end of June, he lost about $200 million. Of course he could’ve been in an even worse situation, as he held a much bigger stake in the company a year ago. He dumped a big chunk of that stake, raking in $647 million after slashing it in half. Icahn said at the time that he had made five times his money, so it was time to “take some chips off the table.”
Netflix’s biggest investor is Coatue Management, which as of the last round of regulatory filings, held more than 2 million shares of the company.
Netflix versus HBO
Another problem for Netflix was HBO’s announcement that it plans to launch its own streaming content service sometime next year. Netflix has frequently said that the cable TV network is one of its biggest competitors, so HBO’s plan to add a streaming service to its cable TV channel will hit Netflix pretty close to home.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said HBO’s upcoming streaming content service is “exciting,” but he thinks that customers will end up subscribing not only to Netflix but also to HBO. The cable TV network has not yet revealed a price for its streaming service, although HBO has a much larger subscriber base than Netflix. HBO has 120 million subscribers, dwarfing Netflix’s 53 million subscribers.