Bloomberg News / April 26, 2011
Netflix may reach almost 30 million subscribers by the end of year, and pass HBO early next year.
SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix Inc., the mail-order and online movie-rental service, reported first-quarter profit rose 88 percent as the pace of adding subscribers accelerated.
Net income grew to $60 million, or $1.11 a share, from $32 million, or 59 cents, a year earlier. Sales increased 46 percent to $719 million, beating analysts’ projections.
The company signed up 3.59 million new users to reach 23.6 million worldwide after saying three months ago that it could reach as many as 23.7 million by March. Chief executive Reed Hastings has said Netflix will support its online business by purchasing rights to additional films and TV shows.
Analysts predicted profit of $1.07, the average of 24 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Netflix predicts net income of $50 million to $62 million this quarter, or earnings of 93 cents a share to $1.15 a share. The company forecasts revenue of as much as $798 million.
The company is likely to focus this year on international expansion and fending off increasing competition from streaming services offered by Amazon.com and Hulu.com, said George Askew, a Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst.
Netflix may reach almost 30 million subscribers by the end of year, and pass Time Warner Inc.’s HBO early next year, said Scott Devitt, at Morgan Stanley.