Netflix share price soars as streaming service plots global expansion

 
Joe Hall
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Netflix plans to add 320 hours of new and returning content in 2015. (Source: Getty)
Shares in Netflix opened 18.9 per cent higher on Wednesday, as investors sounded their resounding approval of strong quarterly results.
The video-streaming service revealed fourth quarter earnings yesterday that smashed analysts’ expectations at $83.4m (£55.2m), or $1.35 per share - a 72 per cent increase on earnings of $35m for the same period last year.
A consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters had put analysts’ forecasts around 45 cents (30 pence) per share, with optimistic predictions only slightly higher than 50 cents per share.
Netflix’s surge today was to be expected after shares rose more than 15 per cent in after-hours trading in New York on Tuesday
Shares opened at a price of $414.64, after closing at $348.8 on Tuesday, a welcome respite for stock that has suffered in recent months following disappointing third quarter results in October.
The website was boosted by its biggest quarter of subscriber gains ever, adding 4.33m subscribers in the three months to December 31.
Growth in the North American market has slowed however, down from 2.3m subscribers in 2013 to 1.9m in 2014.
The company says it now plans to speed up its global expansion, reaching a total of 200 countries within two years. It is currently available in around 50 markets.
Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, promised “a very exciting couple of years” to come.

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