Netflix Tops Subscriber Forecast Again in Q3

Netflix shares climbed in after-hours trading Monday after the SVOD giant released Q3 results that again blew out the company's subscriber forecasts

Netflix added 5.3 million total streaming subs in Q3, ahead of an earlier forecast that it would add 4.4 million in the period.

Netflix ended Q3 with 109.25 million subs worldwide, and expects to add 6.3 million more in Q4, and extend that total to 115.55 million

In the U.S., Netflix added 850,000 streaming subs, for a total of 52.77 million, and expects to add 1.25 million in that category in Q4.

Netflix tacked on 4.45 million international streaming subs in Q3, ending the period with 56.48 million in the quarter. It expects to add 5.05 million international streaming subs in Q4.

Total Q3 revenues rose 30.3%, to $2.98 billion, and Netflix expects to pull in $3.27 billion in Q4.  Streaming revenues in Q3 reached $2.87 billion, up 33.2%.

In its letter to shareholders (PDF), Netflix said it’s on track to exceed $11 billion in revenue for 2017.

Netflix shares were up $4.37 (2.16%) to $207.05 each in after-hours trading Monday.

Netflix noted that its Q4 forecast is under its all-time high of a quarterly record of 7.05 million in Q4 2016, noting that it recently raised pricing in many of its markets for HD and 4K plans, while standard-def plan pricing was mostly unchanged.

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Netflix’s letter also acknowledged growing competition in the streaming sector, citing examples such as Disney’s plan to roll out a cadre of direct-to-consumer services for ESPN and other brands, virtual MVPDs like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, and Amazon’s global moves with Prime Video and its recent addition of live streaming of NFL games on Thursday nights.

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“We have a good head start but our job is to improve Netflix as rapidly as possible to please our members by earning their viewing time and to stay ahead of the competition in the decades to come,” Netflix said, reiterating a view that it’s in the “early stages of the worldwide, multi-decade transition from linear TV to internet entertainment.”