Netflix, Inc. Crushes Earnings Estimates Again, Misses Sales

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Netflix released its latest earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting adjusted earnings of 72 cents per share on $1.31 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 45 cents per share on $1.49 billion in revenue.

Shares of the video content provider skyrocketed after the report, climbing by as much as 12% and still rising as of this writing.

Breaking down Netflix’s earnings report

Reported earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $1.35, compared to 79 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago. In last year’s fourth quarter, Netflix posted revenue of $962 million. The company reported $917 million in U.S. revenue and $388 million in international revenue for the December quarter.

Late in the current quarter, Netflix said it plans to launch its services in New Zealand and Australia. Later this year, the company said it will add more major countries. Management said in tonight’s quarterly letter that they are still “exploring options” for China, with all of their options being “modest.” They’re looking for a way to “successfully operate a small service in China.”

Netflix surprises on subscriber growth

Netflix also crushed estimates for subscriber growth, reporting net additions of 4.33 million for the fourth quarter. The FactSet consensus estimate was 3.88 million net new subscribers.  In the same quarter a year ago, Netflix added 4.07 million subscribers. Internationally, Netflix added 2.43 million subscribers, with the remaining being domestic subscribers.

For the full year, Netflix added a record 13 million new subscribers, compared to 2013’s 11.1 million. The streaming video content provider ended the year with 57.4 million subscribers in all.

The company guided for 4.05 million net new subscribers in the current quarter, which was another positive surprise. That would bring the company’s total number of subscribers to 61.4 million. The FactSet consensus estimate for first quarter subscriber growth at Netflix is 3.88 million.

Netflix to spend more on more original content

Netflix also provided an update on its original content, which it says costs less money than most other content relative to its viewing metrics. Management also said they will continue to grow spending on original content, which means more cash usage and debt.

The company reported excellent ratings for Marco Polo, House of Cards and Game of Thrones on the rating site Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix’s first original feature film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny, is scheduled to debut on Aug. 26. Netflix intends to launch 320 hours of original content, which is triple the amount released in 2014.

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