Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) snagged 2 million more subscribers than Wall Street expected in the final three months of 2017, tripling profits at the online video service that is burning money on new programming to dominate internet television around the world.
The results drove Netflix to a market capitalization of more than $100 billion for the first time. Shares jumped 9 percent to over $248 in after-hours trading on Monday after rallying throughout the month and rising 53 percent last year. (tmsnrt.rs/1Ry82wG)
The company has signed up more than half of all U.S. broadband households and is building its customer base in 190 countries by spending billions on programming.
Netflix picked up 6.36 million subscribers in international markets from October through December, when it released new seasons of critically acclaimed shows “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” as well as Will Smith action movie “Bright.” That topped Wall Street expectations of 5.1 million, according to FactSet.
Along with 1.98 million customer additions in the United States, the company ended the year with 117.58 million streaming subscribers around the globe, despite a price hike in October.
“Netflix is pouring more and more money into making content, and it is directly translating into more subscribers,” BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said. “They see a huge opportunity and they are moving as fast as they can to attack it.”
The company also said it took a $39 million non-cash charge for “unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with.” A source familiar with the matter said the charge was related to content starring Kevin Spacey, with whom Netflix cut ties after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Netflix temporarily halted production of “House of Cards” to write out Spacey’s character and decided not to release the film “Gore,” which starred Spacey as Gore Vidal.
Spacey has apologized to one of his accusers, and according to his representatives is seeking unspecified treatment. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the accusations.
The charge is one of the first signs of costs faced by companies in the wake of a widespread campaign against sexual harassment.
Netflix turned a DVD-by-mail business into an online competitor of movie channel HBO. As it grew it began licensing its own original shows to ensure a stream of new offerings if studio suppliers ended deals.