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Netflix released its earnings statement for the fourth quarter of 2015 today, revealing a record 5.59 million new subscribers (since October), $0.10 in earnings per share, and $1.67 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected $0.02 in earnings per share and $1.83 billion in revenue.
Netflix stock was up more than 8 percent in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings release.
Netflix said in a letter to shareholders that it now has more than 75 million total subscribers — the company crossed that line on New Year’s Day after ending 2015 with 74.76 million — but this figure already feels out of date: it doesn’t factor in the company’s 130-country launch two weeks ago. We’ll find out next quarter if Netflix’s aggressive international expansion worked as planned.
Netflix gained 1.56 million members in the U.S., down from 1.90 million a year ago — and indeed Netflix expected an annual decline. “Our high penetration in the US seems to be making net additions harder than in the past,” the company wrote in the letter to shareholders. In October, Netflix added surprisingly few new U.S. subscribers — 880,000 (Netflix aimed to add 1.15 million). At the time, Netflix blamed its poor U.S. subscriber growth on the country’s transition to chip-based credit cards.
The company’s stagnation in the U.S. places increasing pressure on its ambitions abroad. Netflix finished the third quarter with more than 69 million subscribers. Back then the company said it expected to have more than 74 million by the end of the year. Netflix ended 2014 with more than 57 million global streaming members.
Netflix expects to add 6 million more members in the current quarter, according to the earnings statement.
In case you’re wondering when Netflix will finally enter China, the company isn’t exactly sure itself.
“We may be able to get started this year and thus deliver on ‘whole world by end of 2016’ or it may take longer,” the company wrote in the letter.
Netflix says it will make 600 hours of original content this year, up from 450 hours last year. Upcoming titles include Fuller House and Marseille.
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