Shares of Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) spiked in aftermarket trading Wednesday following a better than expected earnings report that showed strong growth on both the top and bottom lines. The video streaming company added millions of new subscribers last quarter, but still missed its target for the second straight reporting period.
Q3 Earnings Summary
- Earnings: $1.47 per share
- Revenue: $5.25 billion
- Subscriber Growth: 6.77 million
Netflix’s third-quarter revenue surged 31% to $5.25 billion, matching analysts’ forecasts. The company earned a profit of $665 million, or $1.47 per share, smashing forecasts for $1.04 per share.
In the same quarter a year ago, the company earned $403 million, or $0.89 per share.
The Los Gatos, California-based company added 6.77 million subscribers during the quarter, far outpacing the Q2 growth figure. The vast majority of that total came from international markets, with domestic subscriptions rising by 517,000. While impressive nonetheless, Netflix’s forward guidance called for 7 million new subscribers in Q3, including 800,000 in its home market.
While management conceded that recent price hikes have hurt customer retention, executives are confident that the company is in good position to retain its leadership pace in a market being flooded with new streaming options.
“None have the variety, diversity, and quality of new original programming that we are producing around the world,” the company said, referring to the new streaming services currently being launched. Nevertheless, the company warned investors there might be “some modest headwind to our near-term growth.”
Netflix’s stock price surged 9.9% after-hours, reaching $314.50. The stock had declined more than 20% over the past three months.
Streaming Wars Heat Up
The market for video streaming is suddenly crowded with at least half a dozen other viable alternatives to Netflix. In addition to Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO, companies like Apple, NBCUniversal, AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Disney are all making inroads into the highly coveted market.
As Grizzle reported last week, all of Netflix’s new competitors offer lower price points compared with the original streaming services.
Disney, which is set to launch its new streaming service next month, has one of the best chances of dethroning Netflix. That’s because the company has a massive catalogue of original content that includes Disney Animation Studies, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and 20th Century Fox.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings acknowledged that Disney is going to be a “great competitor,” but reassured investors that most streaming services are “relatively small compared to linear TV.”
Disney+ will start selling subscriptions at $6.99 a month. Apple TV+, which is also set to debut in November, will cost $4.99 a month.
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