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Netflix shares surge on positive subscriber news
17 October 2018, 06:45 | Vera Richards
To All the Boys I've Loved Before is one of Netflix's most-watched movies ever the company said Tuesday
"We'll take it at a million at a time", CEO Reed Hastings told a post-earnings interview of subscriber growth in India, which Netflix declines to break out, citing competitive factors. The company has parlayed that into huge gains for investors. Wall Street analysts had expected Netflix to add about 5.2 million streaming customers in the quarter.
While Netflix blamed the poor quarter on bad forecasting, the company's actions suggested programming was a factor.
Netflix added 1.1 million subscribers in its domestic market, above the 674,000 additions forecast. However, despite the unexpected cold shower last quarter, Netflix bulls remain confident the stock will rally.
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If the quarter's record-setting slate doesn't move the subscriber needle, Netflix may have to reassess its programming strategy. "The variance relative to forecast was due to greater-than-expected acquisition globally, with strong growth broadly across all our markets including Asia".
Netflix has spent almost $7 billion on programming through the first nine months of the year, and plans to boost its investment in the years to come.
The Los Gatos, California-based Netflix has sharpened its focus on the Indian market and is planning to go more local in a deeply multilingual country. Netflix released 14 original rom-coms in 2018, six of which came during the popular "Summer of Love".
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Netflix will then segue to a raft of high-end film offerings that spell its most serious push into Hollywood's competitive Oscar season. It's used by Wall Street analysts to measure the long-term value of a business. Disney and AT&T Inc, the parent of Warner Bros. and HBO, are each looking to introduce new services next year - after completing takeovers of other companies worth a combined $160 billion.
That suggests Netflix may have to issue more debt to fund its ambitious plans around original content and global expansion.
For now, Netflix said it was "super encouraged with India" and the growth that they have got early on but the company is aware that it's going to be somewhat of a tough market going ahead right.
"My competitors have Netflix turning cash flow positive in two years, that's just insane - it's not going to happen", Wedbush technology analyst Michael Pachter said on Yahoo Finance's "Midday Movers' show". Even before the after-hours surge on Tuesday, the shares were up 80 percent this year. But investors may wonder where the money is going if Netflix misses again.
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