Netflix shares soared to new all-time highs as the company reported better-than-expected results and guidance. But the big surprise is how CEO Reed Hastings approached the call, the stock and the company's future.
(Read more: Netflix shares soar as outlook blows past forecasts)
Hastings talked down the stock: In both the "letter to shareholders" and on the earnings call he raised concerns about the stock's massive gains—when a stock is high CEOs usually say they'll let the market determine the value of the stock; when it's low, they say they believe it's worth more.
On the Q&A with investors Hastings took an entirely different approach.
"Every time I read a story about Netflix is the highest appreciating stock in the S&P 500 it worries me because that was the exact headline that we used to see in 2003 ... we have a sense of momentum [that] investors [are] driving the stock price more than we might normally. There is not a lot we can do about it but I wanted to honestly reflect upon that."
Similarly, he took a very surprising approach to HBO. Hastings back in May called HBO Netflix's "biggest competitor" and also called himself "their biggest fan."
There's no question that Netflix competes with HBO for viewers, content and even Emmy awards, and Hastings has made it clear that he doesn't want to replace HBO, but rather wants to compete on the same plane. But instead of promoting Netflix's content and interface as a real, formidable competitor to HBO, he highlighted just how far Netflix has to go before his company could possibly catch up to the behemoth.