Netflix Surges 10% with 13.1 Million Q4 Subscribers
Netflix, the global streaming giant, experienced a remarkable surge in premarket trading as its shares skyrocketed by 10% following a stellar performance in the fourth quarter of 2023. The company reported an impressive addition of 13.1 million subscribers, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations. This surge in subscribers comes as Netflix intensifies efforts to expand its ad-supported service and combat password sharing.
With these new additions, Netflix now boasts a record-breaking 260.8 million paid subscribers, marking a significant milestone in its journey as a streaming powerhouse. This subscriber growth far outpaces the 8.76 million paid memberships gained in the third quarter and decisively exceeded Wall Street’s projections for the fourth quarter, which had ranged between 8 million to 9 million new subscribers.
Netflix’s financial performance for the fourth quarter of 2023 also exceeded analyst predictions. The company reported earnings of $2.11 per share, slightly lower than the expected $2.22 per share estimated by LSEG (formerly known as Refinitiv). However, revenue for the quarter reached $8.83 billion, surpassing the expected $8.72 billion projected by LSEG. These figures further cement Netflix’s dominant position in the streaming industry.
In addition to its impressive subscriber growth and financial results, Netflix revealed an optimistic outlook for 2024. The company expects a full-year operating margin of 24%, up from its previous range of 22% to 23%, citing the weakening U.S. dollar and a stronger-than-forecast fourth-quarter performance as key factors. Netflix’s fiscal first quarter of 2024 is also anticipated to outperform expectations, with projected earnings per share of $4.49, surpassing the $4.10 anticipated by Wall Street analysts.
This positive outlook reinforces Netflix’s commitment to profitability. While competitors in the streaming industry grapple with profitability challenges and content spend reductions, Netflix remains committed to expanding its content library. However, the company does not plan to achieve this through acquisitions of traditional entertainment companies or linear assets.
Netflix continues to partner with content creators who have traditionally operated in the linear space. A recent announcement revealed Netflix’s plans to stream WWE Raw, marking a significant step into live entertainment. The company acknowledges the ongoing competition in the streaming landscape and is determined to enhance its entertainment offerings.
Netflix’s strategic shift from prioritizing subscriber growth to focusing on profitability is apparent through measures such as price increases, password crackdowns, and the introduction of ad-supported tiers to boost revenue. While ads are not expected to be the primary revenue driver in 2024, Netflix is committed to scaling this aspect of its business. The company’s, disclosed that Netflix now boasts over 23 million global monthly active users, up from 15 million just a few months ago.