Netflix Shares Jump 8 Percent to All-Time High on Subscriber Surge

Streaming powerhouse now has 125 million customers worldwide

Last Updated: April 17, 2018 @ 8:53 AM

Shares of Netflix are on fire, jumping 8 percent in early morning trading a day after the streaming giant reported it added 7.4 million new subscribers during its first quarter — second most in the company’s history, behind the 8.3 million added during the final three months of 2017.

The big move had Netflix trading at $332.22 a share, putting it on the verge of passing its $333.98 all-time high. If the gains hold on Tuesday, Netflix would close at its highest mark ever, passing the $331.44 close the company had on March 9.

Netflix’s subscriber gains pushed the company past 125 million customers across the globe. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos reiterated the company plans to aggressively target international subscribers on its earnings call on Tuesday, with shows natively shot in Brazil, Germany, and Israel, among other countries.

The Los Gatos, California-based company still carries plenty of debt, and is planning on paying up to $8 billion on content in 2018. But Wall Street doesn’t seem to mind, as long as the company is adding both subscribers and revenue at an accelerated pace.

“We continue to believe Netflix will scale to a large and highly profitable business, and 1Q results highlight continued momentum on both scale and margins. In a rare combination, subscriber growth exceeded expectations AND expectations for margin expansion for the year increased,” said Morgan Stanley in a note to clients. “Importantly, as the company pivots its incremental spending from content first towards marketing, there are some early signs that operating leverage is increasing and cash burn perhaps peaking. If Netflix continues to outperform its own expectations for net adds, it is even more likely it will begin expanding margins more rapidly and reducing its cash burn levels.”

Goldman Sachs, Piper Jaffray, and J.P. Morgan all increased their price targets above $360 a share for Netflix on Tuesday.

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