Netflix nears 100 million subscribers

FBR Capital Reconfirms $144.00 Target Price per Share On Netflix (NDAQ:NFLX), Reconfirms “Hold” Rating

Netflix Earnings Preview: Revenue And Subscribers Set To Grow Even As International And Content Expansion Erodes Profitability

The platform is expected to reach 100 million users this weekend.

Chief executive, Reed Hastings, said: "We have come to see these quarterly variances as mostly noise in the long-term growth trend and adoption of internet TV". Despite a five point drop in its stock price this morning, Netflix is now up a little over three per cent. But we don't think it will have much of an impact on us as Netflix is largely complementary to pay-TV packages. The year-on-year growth in streaming revenue was slightly down from last quarter, but still impressive at 38.8 percent.

By the end of March, Netflix had almost 48 million subscribers outside the United States. Breaking that total down, the OTT video market leader picked up 1.42 million subscribers in the United States and the other 3.53 million customers internationally, raising its totals in those regions to 50.85 million and 47.89 million, respectively.

Analysts are saying there are two reasons for this poor performance - increased competition, and the generally poor standard of content. Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst says, "It wasn't a strong quarter for Netflix in terms of content".

Netflix, for its part, takes a similar approach with both original and licensed content. Netflix's subscriptions range from $8 to $12 per month, with the most popular option at $10.

"We have definitely got YouTube envy and we've got a lot a room to go", Hastings said. Other cable channels also are contributing internet-only benefits as more viewers, particularly younger people, avoid traditional TV bundles and subscribe to streaming services preferably. However, Netflix was focused more on films and original content as it lost out on deals with the major studios.

More than a personal success for Netflix, being on the brink of a subscriber count of such a scale highlights the whiz-bang of video streaming services and, in particular, the monthly subscription model Netflix employs. Netflix now has a consensus rating of "Buy" and a consensus target price of $144.53. It lost some long-time US subscribers after their rates went up by as much as $2 per month previous year.

Loop Capital Markets has a Buy rating on the shares Netflix, while it lifted its price target for the shares to $172 from $162. The company also boosted profits to $178.2 million, or 40 cents a share during the quarter, up from $27.7 million, or 6 cents per share during the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the worldwide segment grew 62% year over year, excluding a -$12 million impact from currency, while ASP rose 12% year over year on a [foreign exchange] neutral basis.

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