- Netflix reported earnings for its fourth quarter on January 21 after the markets closed.
- The streaming company crushed its international subscriber-growth targets during the fourth quarter but missed in the US, where rivals such as Disney Plus launched.
- Shares of the streaming company were flat in after-hours trading.
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Netflix crushed its international subscriber-growth targets during the fourth quarter but missed in the US, where rivals like Disney Plus threatened its dominance.
Shares of the streaming company were flat in after-hours trading on Tuesday, when Netflix posted its quarterly report.
Netflix added 8.76 million paid net subscribers globally, surpassing its own forecast and Bloomberg consensus. The company owed the beat to an impressive ramp-up of subscribers outside the US. It added 8.33 million subscribers internationally, far more than forecast.
However, in the US, where rival Disney Plus launched during the fourth quarter, Netflix added just 420,000 paid net subscribers, below its guidance of 600,000. It was the third quarter in a row where Netflix missed its targets for US subscriber growth.
Ahead of the release, Wall Street analysts were closely examining Netflix’s US performance to see how the service was holding up against its new rivals. Other competitors, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and the mobile-video startup Quibi, are due to launch in the US in the spring.
Still, Netflix said it added more quarterly paid net subscriber than ever before in every region, except the US and Canada. Most of the company’s subscriber growth is now international, with 106 million paid subscribers.
Netflix also brought in more revenue during the quarter than expected. It posted $US5.47 billion in revenue, 31% more than a year ago and slightly above analysts’ estimates.
Netflix released buzzy originals like “The Witcher” and the second season of “You” during the fourth quarter, as well as Oscar-nominated films such as “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” and “The Two Popes” and popcorn flicks like “6 Underground.” But those hits weren’t enough to help Netflix win domestically.
Netflix will not break out the US as a standalone region in future quarters. The country will be combined with Canada, as part of a change in the company’s regional reporting structure. Netflix now reports revenue and membership by four regions: US and Canada; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; Latin America; and Asia-Pacific.
Moving forward, Netflix is also offering guidance for global paid memberships only, and not regional subscribers.
Here were the key numbers in Netflix’s Q4 earnings:
- Q4 revenue: $US5.47 billion, versus Wall Street estimates of $US5.45 billion and Netflix’s forecast of $US5.4 billion.
- Q4 earnings per share (GAAP): $US1.30, versus Wall Street estimates of $US0.53 and Netflix’s forecast of $US0.51.
Q4 total paid subscriber growth (paid net additions): 8.76 million, versus Wall Street estimates of 7.65 million and Netflix’s forecast of 7.6 million.
- 420,000 in the US, versus Wall Street estimates of 602,250 and Netflix’s forecast of 600,000.
- 8.33 million internationally, versus Wall Street estimates of 7.15 million and Netflix’s forecasts of 7 million.
- Q1total paid subscriber growth estimate (paid net additions): 7 million, versus 9.6 million in Q1 2019.
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