Netflix modestly exceeded expectations in its latest Q4 earnings report with higher earnings per share and revenue, sending stocks up in after-hours trading.
Investors were eager to see how the company fared following the launch of Disney+ and AppleTV+ in November and in light of the upcoming launch of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.
Earnings per share were $1.30 compared to an estimate of $0.51, and overall revenue was $5.47 billion compared to an estimate of $5.45 billion.
Year over year growth remained steady at 30.6 percent, slightly down from the last quarter’s rate of 31.1 percent, but above prior quarters in 2019.
The number of net paid subscribers, perhaps the most anticipated metric from the streaming company, was also up at 8.76 million. While this was not quite the 9.7 million anticipated by bullish Goldman Sachs analysts, it did beat the 7.6 million forecast by Netflix and other analysts.
The total number of memberships was 167 million, up from 158 million in the last quarter, with a year over year growth of 20 percent.
The number of U.S. subscribers, however, came in at 550,000, compared to an estimate of 589,000.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix highlighted its slate of original programming, including The Witcher, which debuted in December and is tracking to become its “biggest season one TV series ever” with 76 million member households choosing to tune into the action-fantasy adventure.
As U.S. competition grows, Netflix appears primed to produce more content tailored to different markets around the world.
“We know that local audiences love local stories. In fact, local originals were the most popular 2019 titles in many countries, including India, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Sweden, and the UK,” the company said in its shareholder letter.