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Netflix shares rise after video streamer hits 100 million subscriber milestone

  • Shares of the video streaming service climbed about 1 percent after CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook late Friday to announce the company had reached the important 100 million subscriber milestone.
  • The company also announced it was raising more than $1 billion outside of the U.S., planning to invest in its global operations.
  • This milestone would suggest the company has lowballed its subscriber growth guidance for the quarter, analysts are saying.
Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Netflix
Joan Cros Garcia | Corbis | Getty Images
Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Netflix

Late last week Netflix said it reached 100 million subscribers, a remarkable milestone for the video streaming service that analysts believe means this quarter's financial results may be better than Wall Street is currently anticipating.

The company also announced on Monday plans to raise more than $1 billion outside of the U.S. through a debt offering to fund its global expansion.

Netflix shares opened Monday up about 1 percent, trading around $144 per share after closing up more than 1 percent on Friday on the subscriber news.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings posted Friday on Facebook: "Celebrating 100m members the same way I did 1m: a steak alone at Denny's. #superstitious"

Now that Netflix has achieved this notable subscriber milestone, many analysts are saying the company is lowballing its guidance for subscriber growth in 2017.

If Netflix ended the first quarter with 98.75 million subscribers — as was recently reported — and has now surpassed the 100 million mark, that means the company has already made about 40 percent of its stated second-quarter subscriber guidance in just three weeks, analysts point out.

"Adding over 1.2mn [subscribers] of the 3.2mn guidance for the quarter in the first 21 days suggests a strong start," MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson wrote in a Monday note to clients. If this pattern continues on a linear trajectory, that would imply about 5.5 million adds for the quarter, well above Netflix's 3.2 million estimate, he added.

Further, Monday's fundraising announcement makes it clear the company is preparing to expand globally by raising $1.09 billion in a European bond offering.

"Netflix intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions," the company said in a statement.

As of Friday's close, shares of Netflix have climbed nearly 50 percent from one year ago and are up about 15 percent year to date.

NFLX 12-month performance

Source: FactSet