Netflix Earnings Less Surprising Than Its Stock Reaction

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has reported its earnings for the second quarter of 2014. On first look, the earnings looked more or less in-line with expectations. We just highlighted a Bull vs. Bear scenario where two analysts used some of the same data to come with opposite views – one major buy and one sell. So far it seems as though investors are giving Reed Hastings the benefit of the doubt.

After confirming that it now has crossed the 50 million member mark, earnings came in at $1.15 per share (EPS) and revenues were up at $1.34 billion. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for the second quarter were $1.16 EPS (versus $0.49 EPS a year ago) on close to a 25% revenue gain to $1.33 billion.

Netflix’s U.S. member base grew to more than 36 million and it expects about 1.3 million net additions in the third quarter. The U.S. contribution margin expanded 460 basis points year over year to 27.1%. It plans to re-evaluate its current 400 basis point gain per year once it reaches 30% margin sometime in 2015.

Netflix said that it ended the second quarter with 13.8 million international members, growing 78% over a year ago. The company is set to launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg in September. Its international contribution loss of -$15.3 million has been rapidly approaching profitability, and it sees improvements across all existing markets.

On a further note, Netflix is launching physical Netflix gift cards in select stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Germany later this year. It said,

“In mature markets, gift cards will extend our brand presence and make it easier to access Netflix. In newer markets, gift cards help build the brand and provide an easier alternative for consumers to join Netflix in markets with developing online payments.”

ALSO READ: How Investors and Analysts Keep Expecting More from Apple Earnings

Netflix shares closed up 1.75% at $451.95 against a 52-week range of $239.91 to $475.87. Shares were initially trading up over 1% around $457.50 in the after-hours reaction. This is one which remains a work in progress, so stay tuned for forward commentary.

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