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Netflix shares slip further amid growth concerns
18 July 2018, 12:27 | Ivan Casey
Netflix shares plunge in after-hours trade after forecast miss
Netflix Inc's subscriber growth and forecast fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending shares of the normally high-flying stock crashing 14 percent on Monday. Wall Street analysts expected 1.23 million net adds in the US and 5.11 million overseas for the period (slightly higher that Netflix's prior guidance).
It marked the first time in a more than a year that Netflix had not exceeded its subscriber growth projections.
Netflix predicted it would add five million subscribers in the current quarter, which ends in September, slightly slower than the pace a year ago. This sent Netflix shares tumbling 12.6% (at time of this posting) in after-hours trading.
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Despite its second-quarter misfire on subscriber growth, the Los Gatos, California, company reported earnings that beat analyst estimates. The company added 700,000 domestic subscribers during Q2, along with 4.5 million overseas, missing company and analyst estimates on both fronts.
Still, Netflix ended Q2 with 130.1 million global subs, up 25% year over year, with 56 million in the USA and 72.8 million elsewhere.
The numbers missed Netflix's own forecast for 1.2 million and 5 million domestic and worldwide subscriber additions, respectively.
J.P. Morgan reiterated an Overweight rating, while increasing its price target to $415 per share from $385, saying it does not believe the latest subscriber numbers "reflect a fundamental change in the Netflix story". The company said that it had $0.85 in earnings per share (EPS) on $3.91 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.79 in EPS on $3.94 billion in revenue.
Total streaming revenue for Q2 18 is US$3,814 million, up from US$2,671 million during the same period previous year. It seemed those dollars were paying off, when the platform received 112 Emmy nominations for its own content, breaking HBO's 17-year streak of dominating the categories.
It was estimated by eMarketer that Netflix would have 147.5 million individual users this year, an increase of 11% over 2017 and that it would capture almost 74% of US OTT video users.
Netflix cited an array of competitors, starting with YouTube. The world's biggest tech company, Apple, also plans to launch a streaming service that would compete with Netflix. "Our strategy is to simply keep improving, as we've been doing every year in the past".
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