We are just getting started in India; Q3FY2019 earnings — Netflix

Credit Netflix

Credit Netflix

With tech stocks taking a drubbing this month, investors will be seeking reassurance that the company's disappointing second quarter was just a blip and not a sign of more to come. Even so, the forecast calls for 1.1 million more subscribers than Netflix gained in the same period past year.

Executives said audiences welcomed shows tailored to specific markets, such as "Sacred Games" in India, which the company identified as key to its expansion. Only about 1 million of the almost 7 million new subscribers came from the United States.

Netflix's net income rose to $402.8 million, or 89 cents per share, in the third quarter ended September 30, up from $129.6 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Q3 is also thought to have seen more people flock back to the platform thanks to new seasons of its most popular shows.

Those stellar numbers sent shares of Netflix up more than 11 percent in after-market trading, to $386.11.

The company added 6.96 million new members in the last three months, a record for the quarter and well ahead of analysts expectations, erasing fears that its growth had slowed. The world is Netflix's oyster. Netflix acknowledged that India is "somewhat of a tough market".

The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017.

What about Asia? Netflix doesn't break out subscriber figures by territory, but it did cite the region as contributing to "strong growth". While the streaming service doesn't say how many customers it has in any market besides the USA, it does offer a glimpse of its progress with quarterly commentary.

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In the current quarter, Netflix is forecasting net new subscribers of 9.4 million, including 1.8 million new subscribers in its domestic market and 7.6 million in global markets. That number should top 35% this year. "Quotas, regardless of market size, can negatively impact both the customer experience and creativity", Hastings said. The company has boosted revenue per subscriber by 14% in each of the past two quarters, and reported its biggest quarterly profit ever in July.

Hastings, 58, suggested that he wasn't anxious about the competition.

Netflix addresses competition every quarter, typically reiterating some version of the same statement: We aren't anxious about growing competition; we are anxious about providing the best experience for consumers. Next year, Disney, which bought the film and TV assets of Twenty-First Century Fox, is set to launch its streaming service, as is WarnerMedia, the amalgam of AT&T and Time Warner. ".it will go from expanding beyond English into Hindi and then into many more languages, more pricing options, more bundling", CEO Reed Hastings said on the third-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.

The firm has said it plans to spend as much as $8bn on content this year, with more than a quarter devoted to original programming.

Netflix can justify higher spending if growth continues to outpace its forecasts. But investors may wonder where the money is going if Netflix misses again.

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