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Netflix adds subscribers, but fewer than expected

CNBC with Reuters
Monday, 22 Jul 2013 | 6:18 PM ET
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Netflix reported earnings Monday that beat expectations as it added streaming-video subscribers, though not as many as analysts had expected.

Netflix stock fell more than 6 percent after the report. What's the stock doing now? (Click here to get the latest quotes.)

The company added 630,000 new subscribers to its U.S. streaming service, bringing the total number of domestic subscribers to 29.8 million. The gain was in the middle of Netflix's own forecast issued in April but fell short of the average expectation from Wall Street analysts of 700,000, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said.

"It's a mixed quarter, not good enough for the stock to move up a bit," Bhatia said.

Internationally, Netflix gained 610,000 new streaming users, for a total of 7.75 million international subscribers.

The stock has soared 183 percent this year, which set the bar high for second-quarter results.

"The stock was priced for perfection going into the quarter, hence the sell-off," Evercore Partners analyst Alan Gould said.

Netflix reports weak forecast
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The May release of comedy "Arrested Development" generated a "small but noticeable bump in membership," Chief Executive Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells said in a letter to shareholders.

The company generated buzz from last week's Emmy nominations for "Arrested Development" and an original series, political thriller "House of Cards," the first Internet series to garner Emmy nods in major categories.

Netflix, in its shareholder letter, forecast it will add up to 1.5 million U.S. streaming customers in the current quarter. That guidance "looks like a little light," Gabelli & Co analyst Brett Harriss said.

"Netflix needs to add a substantial amount of subscribers to justify the current valuation," Harriss said.

Net income rose to $29 million, or 49 cents a share, in the second quarter, from $6.2 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier, when the company was spending heavily to push into foreign countries.

Revenue increased to $1.07 billion from $889 million a year ago.

Analysts had expected the streaming-video company to report earnings excluding items of 40 cents a share on $1.07 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

For the third quarter, the company expects earnings of 30 cents a share to 56 cents a share. The median of that guidance is 43 cents a share; analysts currently expect 45 cents a share.

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