The stock price is up 12.7% in post market trading following the Q1 report. While financial results for the quarter were mixed, they showed that Netflix had 62.3 million global streaming subscribers at the end of the quarter — about 500,000 more than expected. It had 41.4 million domestic streaming customers at the end of March, up 16.0% from the same time last year. Outside the U.S., Netflix had 20.9 million streaming subs, +64.6%.
The Street’s been enthusiastic about the stock, driving its price up 38.9% so far in 2015. CEO Reed Hastings says he’ll propose a stock split to make it more accessible. If the after-market trading prices hold tomorrow, then Netflix shares will hit an all-time high, rising well above $500 for the first time.
The CEO and CFO David Wells say in an investor letter that Netflix will introduce an improved user interface later this year. “We are also developing improved ways to promote Netflix originals to our members, using our data to help identify which members would be most likely to enjoy each original title.”
As for competition, the execs say that they aren’t worried about HBO Now. It and Netflix “are not substitutes for one another given differing content. We think both will continue to be successful in the marketplace, as illustrated by the fact that HBO has continued to grow globally and domestically as we have rapidly grown over the past five years.”
Other streaming services including Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Dish Network’s Sling TV are “more competitive to the current pay TV bundle than to Netflix.”
The company reported net income of $23.7 million, down 55.4% vs the same period in 2014, on revenues of $1.57 billion, up 23,9%. Earnings per share came in at 38 cents. Netflix attributes the earnings drop to “currency related transaction losses.” If they’re factored out, EPS would have come in at 77 cents.
The company said in January that it likely would generate 60 cents in per-share earnings, with $37 million in net profit on revenues of about $1.4 billion. The consensus among analysts was that EPS would hit 69 cents with revenues of $1.57 billion.