Is Netflix Finally Slowing Down?

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Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) released its fourth quarter earnings report after the markets closed on Thursday. The online streaming giant posted $0.30 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.19 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that are calling for $0.24 in EPS and $4.21 billion in revenue. The company reported that it had $0.41 in EPS and $3.29 billion in revenue for the third quarter last year.

During the fourth quarter, global net adds totaled 8.8 million. In the United States, Netflix added 1.5 million memberships. Internationally, the firm added 7.3 million memberships.

Note that Netflix now has a total of 139.26 million total memberships worldwide.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, the company is calling for $0.56 in EPS on $4.49 billion in revenue. At the same time, the company is expecting to see net adds of 8.9 million. There are consensus estimates calling for $0.83 in EPS on $4.61 billion in revenue.

Reed Hastings, Chairman and CEO of Netflix, commented:

Our multi-year plan is to keep significantly growing our content while increasing our revenue faster to expand our operating margins. We’re targeting a 9% operating margin in Q1’19, which we expect will grow over the course of the year and our full year operating margin target for 2019 remains 13% vs. 10% in 2018. A majority of our revenue is not in dollars, so when there are materials FX moves, investors know to expect proportionate top line changes. In such FX cases, we’ll seek to adjust our prices and costs over time, but since that will lag the revenue changes, and since we don’t hedge FX, this would lead to short-term margin variations from our steady progression.

Shares of Netflix closed Thursday at $353.19, with a consensus analyst price target of $380.95 and a 52-week range of $216.55 to $423.21. Following the announcement, the stock was initially down over 3% at $340.95 in the after-hours trading session.

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