Netflix shakes off weak subscriber growth and its stock is skyrocketing

Netflix is finally breaking off from its slowing subscriber growth trend as it posted a huge quarter that beat both its own, and Wall Street’s, expectations.

Here’s the money chart:


With today’s crazy jump in its stock, the company added nearly $10 billion to its market cap.

Shares of Netflix are absolutely blowing up, now up more than 20% in extended trading after the earnings report came out. The company also posted a very wide beat on earnings, recording 12 cents per share. With today’s report, the company has reversed most of the losses the stock has incurred since January.

Netflix added 3.2 million international subscribers, and 370,000 domestic subscribers. Total subscribers were up to 86.7 million. Wall Street was looking for the company to add 304,000 U.S. subscribers and around 2 million international subscribers. Analysts were looking for earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $2.28 billion.

Slower-than-expected subscriber growth has recently dogged Netflix recently, as it’s made a huge push to try to expand internationally but has run into a series of hiccups. In particular, last quarter Netflix noted China’s regulations would be a significant issue as it continued to expand beyond the U.S. That’s put a heavy drain on optimism around the company as it missed its own expectations and had to pare back future expectations as a result earlier this year.

There’s also the issue of enough content being available abroad. Over the weekend, CBC reported that several un-blocker services that would allow international customers to view U.S.-based content — which is a big push for Netflix — were running into a lot of issues. While Netflix continues to deliver a lot of hits in the United States, particularly with its Marvel original series and over the summer, Stranger Things, it is still trying to get that content internationally.

Without that, despite expanding widely into new countries, it’s going to have trouble convincing people to shell out money for the service. It’s going to have to also figure out how to get the right local content available in those countries.

Netflix has had an extremely bumpy year to say the least. Since January this year, Netflix shares are down around 13%, while in the full year things are largely unchanged. Long-term, Netflix’s strategy seems to be working, but it still appears that there are some tweaks that need to be made in the near term as the company rolls out its expansion plans and places a focus on acquiring new subscribers.

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