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Netflix Global Subscribers Rise to 149M in 1st Quarter

Netflix said that it added 9.6 million subscribers in the first quarter from a year ago, bringing its total to 148.86 million.

Netflix added 1.74 million subscribers in the U.S. and 7.86 million internationally. The company said it expects to add only 5 million subscribers in the second quarter.

Net income rose to $344 million, or 76 cents a share, from $290 million, or 64 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue rose 22% to $4.521 billion.

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The first quarter numbers were ahead of analysts expectations. But Netflix’s second quarter earnings per share of 55 cents a share was well short of the Wall Street consensus of 99 cents. Wall Street was expecting second quarter revenues to be $4.962 million, but Netflix is forecasting a bit less at $4.928 million.

“We’re working our way through a series of price increases in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe,” the company said in its quarterly letter to shareholders. “The response in the U.S. so far is as we expected and is tracking similarly to what we saw in Canada following our Q4’18 increase, where our gross additions are unaffected, and we see some modest short-term churn effect as members consent to the price change.”

In its letter, Netflix said it didn't expect its growth to be slowed as Apple, Disney and others launch new streaming products.

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"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," Netflix said. "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."

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.