News Column

Netflix more than doubles 2Q earnings

July 21, 2014

By Jefferson Graham, @jeffersongraham, USA TODAY

Netflix, the popular streaming and mail-order DVD service, continued its roll in the second quarter.

The company said it has brought in $1.34 billion in revenue, and earnings more than doubled, to $71 million or $1.15 per share, from $29 million or 49 cents, a year ago. It also added more subscribers, as Netflix rides a wave of popularity with original series such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

Netflix said it added 1.7 million new streaming subscribers in the quarter; it now has more than 50 million subscribers internationally who pay to either stream shows directly to their televisions, tablets and smartphones, or receive DVDs by mail. "We have a huge global opportunity ahead and a lot of challenges, too," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to shareholders.

While streaming represents the bulk of Netflix's viewing, DVDs are still relatively healthy, with 6.3 million DVD subscribers. Netflix lost 391,000 DVD subscribers in the quarter, compared with 475,000 last year.

Beyond Orange and horror series Hemlock Grove, Netflix has deals with DreamWorks Animation for a series of new shows, as well as a new sci-fi series, Sense8, from the Wachowskis (The Matrix) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5).

According to J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, Netflix expects to double its investment in original content in 2014. "We expect increasing consumer awareness of Netflix originals and additional originals through the remainder of 2014 to continue to increase Netflix's content differentiation and drive subscriber additions," says Anmuth.

In May, Netflix said it would raise prices for most new members worldwide by $1 to $2, and Anmuth says Netflix has "only seen modest pushback to the increase."

Barbara Nitke, AP

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Source: USA Today

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