Netflix Shares Rise After It Beats Q4 Expectations For Overseas Subs

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Netflix’s stock price is up more than 9% in post market trading after it released mixed results for Q4 — but with an upbeat forecast for the current quarter.

The streaming video giant reported net income of $43.2 million, down 48.2% vs the year-end period in 2014, on revenues of $1.82 billion, up 22.8%. The top line is a little shy of Wall Street’s expectation for $1.83 billion. After adjusting for tax accruals, earnings came in at 7 cents a share, beating predictions for 2 cents.

Most of the good news comes from its overseas efforts. The company lost $109 million — less than the $117 million it anticipated. The loss will only grow to $114 million in Q1, it says. That’s less than execs told analysts to expect early this month when Netflix began to offer its service in 130 additional countries.

The company added more international subscriptions than expected: 4.04 million, for a total of 30.02 million. The company says it expects to add another 4.35 million in the current quarter.

That helped to compensate for so-so domestic numbers. Netflix added 1.56 million subs — lower than the 1.65 million it expected — bringing the total to 44.74 million. It foresees a 1.75 million pick up in Q1.

“Our high penetration in the U.S. seems to be making net additions harder than in the past,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells say in a letter to shareholders. “New credit/debit card rollover continues to be a background issue.”

The execs add that Netflix plans to offer 600 hours of original programming this year, up from 450 in 2015.

“Increasingly, our goal is to own more of our original programming to allow for greater creative and business control and to ensure global access to content,” they say.

With the additional expenses, Netflix is “likely to raise additional debt in late 2016 or early 2017.”

The company will put “special emphasis on shows that families can enjoy together” such as Fuller House, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Stranger Things. Execs also say that Netflix is “stepping up our non-English language original productions” especially in France, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.

They defended their decision to not release ratings data for originals. The business model “is not dependent on advertising or affiliate fees.” As a result, success should be measured by sub growth. “It is member viewing and satisfaction that propels our growth.”

As for its first original film from Adam Sandler, The Ridiculous Six, Hastings and Wells say it was “the most viewed movie on Netflix in every territory the week of its debut and the most-viewed movie ever on Netflix in the first 30 days on the service.”

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