Netflix stock slightly negative after post-earnings rally

Key Points
  • Netflix posted earnings and revenue that beat analysts expectations for Q1 2019, but provided light guidance.
  • The stock rallied Wednesday after an initial after hours dip on Tuesday.
  • The company's subscriber growth helped allay analyst concerns about the entrance of new streaming services.
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix.
Michael Newberg | CNBC

Shares of Netflix was down 1.3% Wednesday following a short rally after the company reported Q1 revenue, earnings and subscriber numbers that beat Wall Street expectations. The drop shaved about $2 billion from Netflix's market cap, which ended the day at $154.9 billion.

The stock initially took a slight dip of 1% after hours Tuesday after providing light guidance for the second quarter of 2019. While Netflix reported earnings per share of 76 cents compared to the 57 cents analysts expected, according to the Refinitiv consensus estimate, it said it only expects EPS of 55 cents in the second quarter compared to the 99 cents analysts had forecast.

Netflix also reported revenue of $4.52 billion compared to $4.50 expected, per Refinitiv. The company added 1.74 million domestic paid subscribers in the quarter compared to the 1.61 million expected, and 7.86 million internationally, compared to the 7.31 million forecast by FactSet.

The strong subscriber numbers seemed to have allayed some analyst's concerns over the potential threat of new streaming services including Disney's.

"NFLX's first quarter earnings may be controversial to some — mostly because of the light second quarter [subscription] outlook — but we think there's much more to like here than not," J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a note following the report. "We continue to believe that Disney+ will not be a major threat to NFLX subscriber numbers given NFLX's quality & quantity of content, & that Netflix/Disney+ will not be an either/or decision."

Netflix addressed its new competition in its letter to shareholders Tuesday, calling out both Apple and Disney by name.

"We don't anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings," the company wrote.

During Netflix's live streamed earnings interview following the report, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the public will soon get more information about the company's viewership numbers.

"Over the next several months, we're going to be rolling out more specific granular reporting, first to our producers and then to our members and of course to the press over time," Sarandos said, adding that Netflix will "be more fully transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world."

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Watch: Netflix's Q2 earnings is going to slow down due to season and pricing, says analyst

Netflix's Q2 earnings is going to slow down due to season and pricing, says analyst