Netflix Inc. added more than 2 million subscribers in the third quarter after starting off 2022 with two consecutive quarterly declines, a rebound that sent shares more than 10% higher in after-hours trading Tuesday.
reported a net gain of 2.41 million subscribers in the third quarter, while analysts on average were forecasting 1.1 million net additions, according to FactSet. That follows a decline of roughly 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter and nearly a million in the second quarter, which has led the company to plan massive changes, including a cheaper, ad-supported streaming tier set to arrive in the fourth quarter.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix executives said they expect 4.5 million new subscribers to join in the fourth quarter, with revenue forecast to grow to $7.78 billion from $7.71 billion a year ago. Analysts on average were estimating revenue of $7.97 billion and a net subscriber gain of 4 million for the fourth quarter, according to FactSet.
“After a challenging first half, we believe we’re on a path to reaccelerate growth,” executives wrote in the letter.
The news sent Netflix shares up about 10% in after-hours trading following the release of the results, after closing with a 1.7% drop at $240.86. The stretch of subscriber declines has filleted Netflix shares, which have swooned 60% so far this year while the broader S&P 500 index
has declined 22.8%.
The streaming-video giant’s downturn after a pandemic-boosted surge has only intensified pressure from rival streaming services at Walt Disney Co.
Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.
and Paramount Global
A dramatic shift in the video-streaming climate, one in which Disney surpassed Netflix as market leader in July, has prompted a radical makeover at Netflix. Last week, the company announced its long-awaited advertising-supported tier, which debuts Nov. 3 in the U.S. for $6.99 a month. Another 11 countries, including Canada and Mexico, will have get the service by Nov. 10. The company has also vowed a crackdown on shared accounts, and is pushing forward on gaming.
Netflix announced third-quarter earnings of $1.4 billion, or $3.10 a share, down from $3.16 a share a year ago. Netflix revenue improved to $7.93 billion in the quarter from $7.48 billion in the same period a year ago, but missed diminished expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $2.14 a share on sales of $7.84 billion, estimates that had dipped in recent days.
Tuesday’s results follow some serious self-reflection among Netflix executives on how to stanch a decline in visits among subscribers that has led to cancellations. Co-CEO Hastings has consulted with staff to find ways to make subscribers visit the platform more frequently, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.
Read the original article