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Netflix loses $16 billion in market value following surprise subscriber miss

Key Points
  • Netflix lost paid U.S. subscribers for the first time in eight years and fell below analyst estimates for international subscriber growth.
  • Netflix lost billions from its market cap Thursday following the report.
  • The company forecast 5 million global net adds for the quarter, but only saw 2.7 million.
Netflix Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings.
Stephane De Sakutin | AFP | Getty Images

Shares of Netflix fell 10.3% Thursday after the company reported a loss in domestic paid subscribers for the first time in eight years.

Netflix lost more than $16 billion from its market cap following the report, bringing it to $142.2 billion. The stock is still up more than 21% so far this year.

The streaming giant reported a second-quarter earnings beat of 60 cents per share compared with the Refinitiv consensus estimate of 56 cents and narrowly missed revenue estimates of $4.93 billion, reporting $4.92 billion for the quarter. But its paid subscriber net additions fell far from even Netflix's own expectations. The company forecast 5 million global net adds for the quarter, but only saw 2.7 million.

Netflix lost paid subscribers in the U.S. for the first time since 2011, when its price increases alongside a new plan to split its DVD shipping service from streaming caused customer backlash. Netflix blamed regional price increases, a relatively weak content slate and a "pull-forward effect" of its strong first-quarter subscriber growth.

While international paid subscribers still grew, the company widely missed estimates. Netflix reported international paid subscriber net adds of 2.83 million compared with estimates of 4.81 million, forecast by FactSet. The miss is significant for Netflix, which has pinned much of its growth opportunity on international expansion in highly populated regions.

Still, Netflix is hopeful about the upcoming quarter. The company forecast 7 million paid net adds and revenue of $5.25 billion. Netflix predicts strong viewership of its new seasons of "Stranger Things," "The Crown" and "Orange is the New Black," among other hits that will help buoy its subscriber growth.

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