Netflix Gains International Users
CBJ – Video streaming powerhouse Netflix was able to add more subscribers than expected in the opening quarter thanks largely to strong expansion in several overseas markets.
Shares of Netflix, which shook up internet television with original shows such as “House of Cards”, rose about 13% after the bell on Wednesday.
Net subscriber additions rose 22% year-over-year to 4.88 million in the first quarter ended March 31, beating its own forecast of 4.05 million.
Considered a pioneer in video streaming, Netflix has been aggressively building its overseas portfolio to make up for slowing growth in the United States. It launched services in Australia and New Zealand in the quarter and expects to be in Japan later this year.
Netflix added 2.6 million customers in its nearly 50 international markets in the quarter ended March 31, bringing the total to more than 62 million users worldwide.
The company expects to sign up 600,000 more customers in the United States in the current quarter. It forecast adding 2.5 million subscribers worldwide in the quarter.
The company has also been investing in original shows to fend off competition from Time Warner Inc.’s HBO, Amazon.com and Hulu, as well as on-demand offerings from pay TV providers.
Netflix, whose stock has traded above $300 for more than a year-and-a-half, also said it would seek board approval for a stock split.
Revenue rose to $1.57 billion from $1.27 billion a year earlier.