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Netflix original shows lure more new subscribers than expected


By and Laharee Chatterjee

(Reuters) - Inc's blitz of new programming attracted a surprisingly high 7.4 million new customers from January to March, reassuring investors who are betting the video streaming pioneer's massive spending will fuel growth around the world.

Shares of jumped more than 7 percent in after-hours trading on Monday to $330.30. They are up 65 percent this year.

Wall Street expected to add 6.5 million new subscribers, according to data. topped that and also said it would bring in 6.2 million more customers from April through June, one million more than predictions.

is spending up to $8 billion on shows and movies in 2018. As it has expanded to some 190 countries, investors accepted negative free cash flow in exchange for the potential of outsized growth in future years.

The company's market capitalization stands at $137.2 billion, more than double a year earlier.

But it faces growing competition as companies such as and pour money into premium programming, international rivals jump into streaming, and traditional companies pursue digital customers.

will stop supplying new movies to starting next year and will start its own streaming service for families.

During the quarter ended in March, boosted original programming on its monthly subscription service by 85 percent from a year earlier to a record 483 hours, according to analysts.

The slate included science fiction series "Altered Carbon" and action drama ""

has signed up more than half of all U.S. households and is building its customer base globally. At the end of March, its customer ranks had swelled to 125 million.

Investors have appeared bullish on the company's ability to add more members. recently traded at 93 times expected earnings for the next 12 months, versus Amazon at 133 times earnings and Disney at 17 times earnings, according to data.

Net income rose to $290.1 million, or 64 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $178.2 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 40 percent year-over-year to $3.7 billion, the fastest pace in the company's history, thanks to the increase in new subscribers and a 14 percent rise in the average cost of a membership.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Meredith Mazzilli)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 02:16 IST