Netflix standing on the threshold of 100 million subscribers

Reed Hastings

In the first quarter, Netflix net subscribers were standing around 1.42M in the USA, compared to the consensus estimate of 1.59M and 1.93M in Q4.

However, he feels that the full subscriber count for the first half of this year could end up being closer to his first-half estimate because he predicts a commanding performance in the second quarter. Worldwide additions rose by 3.53 million, down from 5.12 million in the fourth quarter of last year and down from 4.51 million in the year-ago quarter.

Customer numbers outside of the United States hit 47.9 million but growth slowed to 3.5 million net additions, down from 5.1 million in the previous quarter.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings expects the next 100 million subscribers to come more quickly than the first 100 million, but he didn't provide a specific timetable during online video review of the company's first quarter. Internationally, numbers were also lower with 3.53 million users signing up, compared to the 3.65 million estimate and 3.7 million guidance.

Netflix revealled it will spend more than US$1 billion in marketing its content this year as its slate of originals continues to expand, and will up its investment in programmatic advertising.

Netflix saw 98.8 million total members in the first quarter, a 21% increase over the year-ago period.

Breaking that total down, the OTT video market leader picked up 1.42 million subscribers in the USA and the other 3.53 million customers internationally, raising its totals in those regions to 50.85 million and 47.89 million, respectively.

Loop Capital Markets has a Buy rating on the shares Netflix, while it lifted its price target for the shares to $172 from $162.

"Investors ask us about Amazon's move into NFL football", the company said in a statement as it released its Q1 2017 results.

The streaming firm added 4.95 million new subscribers in the quarter, fewer than the 5.2 million it had forecast.

"We don't think it will have much of an impact on us as Netflix is largely complementary to pay TV packages", the report read. Group net profit lifted to Dollars 178 million from 28 million, with an operating margin advancing to 9.7 percent from 2.5 percent. The service grew by 5 million subscribers during the first three months of 2017, and is to finish the year with 100 million customers in 190 countries. On that note, CFO David Wells encouraged investors to focus more on top-line revenue and companywide operating margin.

Netflix's marketing budget has almost doubled over the past few years from $607,186 in 2014 to a forecast of more than $1 billion this year.

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