HT Image
HT Image

Netflix shares surge as customer base grows

Netflix Inc signed up more U.S. subscribers than expected in the fourth quarter, reversing a wave of defections triggered by a series of high-profile missteps last year and pushing its shares up 13 percent.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2012 06:00 PM IST

Netflix Inc signed up more U.S. subscribers than expected in the fourth quarter, reversing a wave of defections triggered by a series of high-profile missteps last year and pushing its shares up 13 percent.



That return to customer growth reassured Wall Street that the video rental company, which outraged customers with a surprise price hike and a botched attempt to split off its DVD-mail service in 2011, was holding its own despite stiffening competition.



CEO Reed Hastings, who grew the company into a major disruptive force within the traditional media industry, shrugged off competition from Amazon.com Inc and Hulu Plus in a letter to shareholders on Wednesday, saying both services offered far less content.



Hastings said he expected Amazon.com to establish a separate paid-streaming service similar to Netflix's, but cheaper. Still, he stressed that Amazon now had less than 10 percent of Netflix's total viewing hours.



The company's most formidable competition would be cable networks going mobile, or so-called "TV Everywhere," he said.



"Every major network is investing in their Internet application, on tablets, smart TVs, phones, game consoles, and laptops," Hastings said.



Netflix added 610,000 net new subscribers in its home U.S. market, helping revenue leap 47 percent to $876 million. That outpaced an average forecast for $857.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. U.S. subscribers at the end of December stood at 24.4 million and international customers at nearly 1.9 million.



U.S. streaming subscribers were higher than expected and a projected first-quarter net loss amid an international expansion was smaller than many feared, analysts said.



"That's going to be comforting to people," said B. Riley & Co analyst Eric Wold.



Netflix forecast a first-quarter 2012 loss of $9 million to $27 million. The company has not predicted when it will turn a profit again. "We're focused on returning to global profitability as soon as possible," Hastings said in an interview.



Stem the bleeding

Shares rose 13 percent to trade above $107 in after-hours trading following the earnings report on Wednesday. They had ended at $95.04, up 2.6 percent, in the regular session on Nasdaq.



Earnings per share hit 73 cents, beating an average forecast of 55 cents.



Netflix shed more than 800,000 U.S. customers in the third quarter of 2011 after an uproar over a price hike and now-aborted plan to rent DVDs under the name Qwikster. The company's share price plummeted from $304 in July to $62 in November.



In the letter to shareholders, Hastings - a Wall Street darling until last year's slip-ups - stuck to previous forecasts of bumping up margins by about 1 percentage point every quarter as the company shifts customers from its DVD-by-mail service onto instant streaming.



To sustain that momentum, Netflix has been writing ever-heftier checks to acquire more TV shows and movies for its streaming service. On Wednesday, Hastings predicted that while content acquisition costs will continue to increase quarter by quarter, that pace of growth will begin decelerating in 2012.



Longer-term, Netflix still faces a deluge of competition, a tarnished brand, and a costly expansion that will erode bottom lines, at least in the short term.



"They have kind of righted the ship in the near term," Morningstar analyst Michael Corty said. "The question investors need to ask is how are they really going to grow this domestic business, not just this quarter but over the next several years."



In the interview with Reuters, Hastings said he was "very confident in our ability to acquire content, and to continue to create a better and better service."

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the Make in India centre, in Mumbai. (Picture courtesy: PIB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the Make in India centre, in Mumbai. (Picture courtesy: PIB)

PM Modi to hold virtual summit on bilateral issues with his Sweden counterpart

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:04 AM IST
"This will be the fifth interaction between the two leaders since 2015. PM Modi had visited Stockholm in April, 2018 for the First India Nordic Summit. While, Sweden PM had visited India in February, 2016 for the special Make in India week," the MEA said.
Close
Delhi High Court.(Mint file)
Delhi High Court.(Mint file)

Delhi HC directs UP police to give post mortem report of farmer

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 05:58 AM IST
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna asked Uttar Pradesh police to provide both the original documents to the Delhi Police on March 5 and said that the document shall be retained in safe custody.
Close
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana confirmed that the three people crossed over and entered Serchip district bordering Myanmar on Wednesday.(AP Photo )
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana confirmed that the three people crossed over and entered Serchip district bordering Myanmar on Wednesday.(AP Photo )

At least three Myanmar cops cross into India seeking refuge

By Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:43 AM IST
  • Those entering India can be granted refugee status, but they will be deported if the government decides against it
Close
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cyber policy to factor in threat from state actors

By Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 06:38 AM IST
  • The 50-odd pages document, anchored by the national security adviser’s office, is now awaiting the approval from the Prime Minister’s office before it is released.
Close
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)

Covid-19: Phase 2 of vaccination drive stuck in first gear

UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:02 AM IST
  • Delhi, which gave shots to 1,679 people per million population in the second phase till Wednesday night, was in the second spot, while Odisha (1,283 doses per million) was third
Close
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

OTT regulations a necessity as some even show porn, says SC

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:49 AM IST
  • The scenes that caused offence have since been deleted, and the makers as well as the OTT company have apologised.
Close
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

‘Can’t mandate perverse equality’: SC on plea over commission for women

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:35 AM IST
  • The medical fitness team of the Army tested close to 615 women SSC officers entitled for permanent commission, following the apex court judgment, on five counts: psychiatry, height, appendage (bone structure), physical and eye and ear.
Close
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

N-E cities have the strongest feel-good factor

By Roshan Kishore, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:19 AM IST
  • The EOL report has calculated its overall scores on the basis of four parameters: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.
Close
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)

Economic might led Bengaluru to top

By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:07 AM IST
  • Bengaluru, India’s technology capital, is an economic powerhouse on account of the presence of some of the world’s largest corporations.
Close
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)

BJP names Metro Man as its Kerala CM face, then retracts

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 01:32 AM IST
  • K Surendran, the state BJP president who made the original announcement claimed he was quoted out of context.
Close
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).

Similipal blaze contained, Odisha asks for rapid response to forest fires

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:38 AM IST
  • The biosphere reserve spread over an area of 5569 sq km contributes 38% of the total protected area network in Odisha. It is also one of the oldest tiger reserves in the country having the largest zone of Sal trees.
Close
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)

Top military meet in new avatar, to be ‘multi-layered and informal’

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:00 AM IST
  • For the first time, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and jawans are taking part in the top conference, as reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Close
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)

Four days into March, Mumbai sizzles at 38 degrees Celsius

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:52 PM IST
  • According to the IMD's forecast, Friday and Saturday may see higher daytime temperatures that could rise to 39 degrees Celsius.
Close
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)

More than 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses given in a day: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:16 PM IST
“Total 10,93,954 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the forty-eighth day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Close
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Complainant fails to join probe against Karnataka ex-minister Ramesh Jarkiholi

By Arun Dev
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:01 PM IST
  • A police officer said that the complainant's status as witness in the case of alleged sexual exploitation against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi is also unclear.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP