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Netflix Surpasses 62 Million Global Streaming Subscribers in Q1

Streaming giant hits on revenue, comes in low on earnings per share estimates

Netflix released its first quarter 2015 financials on Wednesday afternoon just after the U.S. stock markets closed, reporting earnings per share of $0.38 on net income of $23.7 million and $1.57 billion in revenue.

Wall Street had forecast earnings per share of $0.69 on $1.57 billion in revenue, according to numbers compiled by Yahoo Finance. Zacks saw EPS coming in at a penny lower. As such, the media company made its revenue mark, but fell quite shy on shareholder earnings.

In other negative sales-minus-expenses news, profit was down from 2014’s comparable three-month period.

But subscriptions were up, with the streaming giant adding 4.9 million subscribers in the most-recent 90-day period — a record for the company. The U.S. was responsible for 2.3 million of those new members. The total subscriber number rose to 62.27 million; 59.62 million are paid subscribers.

Netflix credited Season 3 of “House of Cards,” as well as new series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Bloodline,” for its most-recent leap.

During the quarter in question, the company also announced the following coming original films: “PeeWee’s Big Holiday,” from Judd Apatow and Paul Reubens; “Jadotville,” from Irish director Richie Smyth and starring Jamie Dornan; and “Beasts of No Nation” from director Cary Fukunaga and starring Idris Elba. “Beasts” will premiere on Netflix later this year.

On its newfound competition, Netflix execs Reed Hastings and David Wells stated:

“In the U.S., HBO began offering its $15 per month “HBO Now” service last week. As we have said in the past, Netflix and HBO are not substitutes for one another given differing content. We think both will continue to be successful in the marketplace, as illustrated by the fact that HBO has continued to grow globally and domestically as we have rapidly grown over the past five years.”

“We view ‘Internet MVPD’ offerings like the rumored Apple offering, Sony’s Playstation Vue and Dish’s Sling TV as more competitive to the current pay TV bundle than to Netflix, which is lower cost, has exclusive and original content, and is not focused on live television.”

During Wednesday’s U.S. trading day, Netflix fell fairly substantially, dropping $3.25 per share, or 0.68 percent. That said, immediately following the announcement, the stock (NFLX) skyrocketed in after-hours markets to $535.57 per share at the time of this writing, up $60.34 or 12.64 percent.

Netflix bosses said they are working on a stock split to make its high price “more accessible.”

The company renewed hit series “Orange Is the New Black” for a fourth season this morning.

For 2014’s comparable quarter, Netflix added four million total subscribers. Revenue was $1.27 billion; net income was $53.1 million; diluted EPS was $0.86.

Last year, Netflix added 13 million subscribers and saw revenue, income and EPS rise. The consumer total reached 57.4 million at the end of Q4 2014, an increase of 4.33 million during the year’s final three months.

Netflix’s investor call is set for 6 p.m. ET, at which point this post will be updated with any pertinent information.