Is Netflix Finally Slowing Down?

Chris Lange

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) released its first quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday. The online-streamer said that it had $0.76 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.52 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.57 in EPS and $4.5 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.64 in EPS and $3.7 billion in revenue.

During the fourth quarter, global net adds totaled 9.6 million. In the United States, Netflix added 1.74 million memberships. Internationally, the firm added 7.86 million memberships.

Note that Netflix now has a total of 148.86 million total memberships worldwide.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company is calling for $0.55 in EPS on $4.93 billion in revenue. At the same time, the company is expecting to see net adds of 5.0 million. There are consensus estimates calling for $0.99 in EPS on $4.95 billion in revenue.

Reed Hastings, CEO, further commented on the future of Netflix’s competition:

Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services. Both companies are world class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete; the clear beneficiaries will be content creators and consumers who will reap the rewards of many companies vying to provide a great video experience for audiences.

We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings. We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing (similar to how US cable networks collectively grew for years as viewing shifted from broadcast networks during the 1980s and 1990s).

Shares of Netflix closed Tuesday at $359.46, with a 52-week range of $231.23 to $423.21. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $381.79. Following the announcement, the stock was down 1.5% at $354.07 in the after-hours trading session.