Netflix may have been overshadowed by streaming rival Hulu at last month’s Emmy Awards, but it remains second to none in terms of reach, as the company beat expectations by adding nearly 1 million more new subscribers than expected — while traditional pay-TV outlets continue to struggle.
For the three months ended September 30, Netflix reported revenue of $2.99 billion and earnings of 29 cents a share. That easily beat the $2.29 billion in revenue and 12 cents a share in earnings the company pulled in during the same time last year. Analysts had estimated revenue of $2.97 billion and earnings of 32 cents a share, on average.
And the number Wall Street really cares about, worldwide subscribers, also beat expectations. Netflix added 4.45 million subscribers internationally and 850,000 in the U.S, for a total of 5.3 million new subscribers. Analyst estimates were 4.5 million additional combined subs. And the company doesn’t expect the growth to slow down any time soon — Netflix is projecting that it will add 6.3 million total subscribers in the fourth quarter.
Earlier this month, the streaming giant announced that it will raise its prices, which investors cheered, given Netflix’s plans to spend up to $8 billion on content next year, which it revealed in its earnings release. The company hiked the price on its “standard” package, which lets users watch on two screens at the same time, from $9.99 to $10.99 a month, starting in November. Netflix’s “premium” plan — which adds access on up to four screens and offers ultra HD — is going from $11.99 to $13.99 a month. That should help Netflix hit the $11 billion in revenue it’s projecting to achieve this year.
And while Netflix doesn’t include live news and sports, its streaming package is significantly cheaper than both traditional pay-TV and satellite plans, as well as the “skinny bundles” like DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV, which check in around $35 to $40 a month for their standard packages. It’s become a necessary replacement for many households that have cut the cord, which has take a bite out of the stock prices of cable network owners like Disney and Viacom. Meanwhile, Netflix continues to deliver prestige programming like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown.”
Netflix hit an all-time high at more than $202 a share shortly before the close of markets Monday. The company’s stock soared more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.