Netflix adds more subscribers than thought

Ernesto S. Ruscio  Getty Images for Netflix Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Subscriber growth has always been more important to investor perceptions of Netflix than its relatively small profits.

Netflix's results sent shares of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc up about 1 per cent higher in extended trade.

"We'll take it at a million at a time", CEO Reed Hastings told a post-earnings interview of subscriber growth in India, which Netflix declines to break out, citing competitive factors.

The video streaming pioneer shocked Wall Street last quarter by falling short of new subscriber estimates, but Tuesday's figures put its total customer base at 137 million worldwide, 2 million more than consensus forecasts. But did you know that this exact sentiment may soon apply to Friends' time on Netflix, even thought it was only added to the streaming service at the beginning of this year?

On the financial front, Netflix earned $403 million on revenue of $4 billion in the quarter. One of which is Netflix which is clearly one of the most popular (if not, the most popular) home TV subscription service.

Netflix's record-setting level of new programming paid off.

The firm is the third on Wall Street this week to cut its outlook on the stock ahead of earnings, as Goldman Sachs and Raymond James both slashed their Netflix price targets on Monday.

Some have begun to question, however, whether Netflix's business model is as durable as the share price action suggests, given the huge investments the company has begun to make in its own content, and burgeoning competition.

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"We expect solid 3Q18 results, led in part by Netflix adding a record number of Originals programming hours", Blackledge wrote. That's up 34 percent from the same period a year ago.

Netflix shares typically fluctuate widely after earnings, and this quarter was no exception. The analyst had had an Overweight rating on the streaming company since at least October 2015, according to the report.

"Our own original shows tend to be more valuable than licensing someone else's shows in later windows", said Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos.

Netflix is forecasting paid net additions of 7.6 million for Q4 and total net additions of 9.4 million.

"We're super encouraged with India and the growth that we've got early on, but we know it's going to be somewhat of a tough market". During the same period previous year, the firm posted $0.15 earnings per share.

Global territories remain the key to the company's future, and accounted for 84 percent of Netflix's new customers in the third quarter.

"If all the "Netflix Killers" out there band together and take back their franchises, that would be a serious blow to Netflix", Csathy said.

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