Netflix adds a third more subscribers than expected; shares jump eight percent

Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:46pm EST
 
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By Lisa Richwine and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - Streaming video pioneer Netflix Inc added over a third more subscribers than expected in the last quarter of 2016, a sign of success for its ambitious global expansion that sent its shares up 8 percent in extended trading.

Netflix signed up 7.1 million new subscribers globally, far more than the 5.2 million analysts had expected, according to research firm FactSet, beating targets at home and abroad even as it raised prices.

Original shows like "Marvel's Luke Cage" and British drama "The Crown" performed strongly around the world, Netflix said, noting that competitors were adapting to compete.

Amazon.com Inc recently expanded its Amazon Prime Video service globally, and Britain's BBC announced plans to release entire series at once to allow the "binge watching" popularized by Netflix.

"It's becoming an internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time," the company said in its quarterly letter to shareholders.

Netflix, in its earnings report, said it added 5.1 million subscribers outside the United States and 1.9 million in its home market in the quarter ended Dec. 31. (nflx.it/2jyes47)

Analysts had forecast 3.73 million non-U.S. additions and 1.44 million at home.

"The future battleground at home is now in keeping hold of customers as much as it is in trying to acquire new ones," said Neil Saunders, head of retail analyst firm Conlumino.   Continued...

 
The Netflix sign on screen is shown on an iPad in Encinitas, California, U.S. on April 19,2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo