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Netflix Shares Tumble After Subscriber Growth Misses Estimates

Netflix Shares Tumble After Subscriber Growth Misses Estimates
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Monday, 16 July 2018 04:23 PM

Netflix Inc.’s subscriber growth and forecast fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending shares of the normally high-flying stock crashing 14 percent on Monday.

The company’s total monthly customers reached 130 million worldwide, 1 million fewer than forecasts from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, as it added new programming including “Lost in Space” and new episodes of Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” and “13 Reasons Why.”

“We had a strong but not stellar Q2,” Netflix said in a quarterly letter to shareholders.

Netflix said it had “over-forecasted” quarterly fluctuations in the pace of new customers.

Before the earnings report, Netflix shares had doubled in 2018, far outpacing the 3.7 percent gain for the S&P 500 index. In after-hours trading on Monday, Netflix shares (NFLX) plunged 14 percent to $343.60, down from an earlier close of $400.48.

“Investors are devastated by Netflix’s Q2 projection that went down in dramatic flames. Now future projections are suspect and that decimates valuation,” said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of private equity firm Patriarch.

Wall Street had been betting that the streaming video pioneer would deliver outsized growth as demand for online entertainment increases around the globe. The company is spending heavily to hook new customers, budgeting $8 billion for programming and $2 billion for marketing in 2018.

Netflix added 670,000 subscribers in the United States, well below analysts’ estimates of 1.19 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Netflix signed up 4.47 million subscribers internationally, while analysts were expecting 4.97 million.

Earnings per share came in at 85 cents, beating the 79 cents predicted by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Total revenue rose 40.2 percent to $3.91 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $3.94 billion.

For the current quarter, Netflix projected it would add 5 million customers. It is making a big push in India. Earlier this month, it debuted its first Indian original series, “Sacred Games,” part of a slate of new shows aimed at the vast Bollywood entertainment market.

But it also faces growing competition.

Amazon.com Inc. plans to add more regional content in India as it builds the Prime video service around the world. Apple Inc. is pouring money into original programming, signing up A-list names including Oprah Winfrey. And AT&T Inc. has promised to boost investment in HBO after taking over the network in its recent acquisition of Time Warner.

At the same time, cable distributors are offering smaller and cheaper bundles of channels.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Netflix Inc. missed Wall Street forecasts for U.S. and international subscribers, saying it had overestimated the pace of new additions for April through June but remained confident in long-term growth.
netflix, shares, stock, price, earnings, subscriber
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2018-23-16
Monday, 16 July 2018 04:23 PM
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