Netflix crushes its subscriber goal as freeloaders become paying subscribers

Netflix turns freeloaders into paying subscribers

Netflix’s Paid-Sharing Initiative Boosts Subscriber Numbers, Stock Dips on Sales Miss

In the second quarter, Internet television network Netflix (NFLX) exceeded Wall Street’s expectations by adding 5.89 million new subscribers, thanks to its successful paid-sharing initiative. However, the company’s stock experienced a decline due to lower-than-anticipated sales and a cautious revenue outlook. Let’s delve into the details of Netflix’s performance and stock movement.

Record Subscriber Growth Surpasses Estimates

Netflix ended the June quarter with an impressive 238.39 million subscribers globally. Analysts had projected the addition of only 1.81 million subscribers during this period, making Netflix’s actual growth far surpassing expectations.

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Financial Performance of the Second Quarter

In Q2, Netflix reported earnings of $3.29 per share, with total sales amounting to $8.19 billion. While the earnings growth year-over-year was 3%, the sales saw a 7% increase. Although the earnings figure beat analyst estimates, which were at $2.85 per share, the sales numbers fell short of the expected $8.29 billion.

Cautious Revenue Outlook for the Current Quarter

For the upcoming quarter, Netflix predicts earnings of $3.52 per share, alongside sales amounting to $8.52 billion. This projection implies a 14% increase in earnings and a 7% rise in sales compared to the same quarter in the previous year. However, analysts have higher expectations, seeking third-quarter earnings of $3.23 per share on sales of $8.66 billion.

Netflix Stock Decline After Earnings Report

Following the earnings report, Netflix’s stock experienced a dip of 4.3% in after-hours trading, settling at 457.25. During the regular session on Wednesday, the stock had seen a modest increase of 0.6%, closing at 477.59.

Analyst’s Perspective

Prior to the earnings announcement, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall expressed that Netflix’s stock was “priced to perfection,” reflecting the high expectations from investors. Cahall suggested that shares might pull back if the company failed to meet or exceed estimates on all metrics. Nonetheless, Cahall still rates Netflix stock as overweight, with a price target of 500.

Growth Initiatives Drive Enthusiasm

Year to date, Netflix’s stock had witnessed an impressive 62% rise, largely driven by investors’ enthusiasm toward the company’s growth initiatives. Notably, these initiatives include the successful crackdown on password-sharing and the introduction of advertising-supported service offerings.

Expectations for Future Growth

In a shareholder letter, Netflix executives expressed optimism about the company’s future growth, expecting revenue to accelerate in the second half of 2023. The company cited the expansion of its paid-sharing program and its advertising business as key drivers for this anticipated growth.

Popular Content Driving Engagement

During the second quarter, Netflix experienced considerable success with several original movies and series. The action films “The Mother” and “Extraction 2” were particularly well-received, along with top-rated series such as “The Diplomat,” “FUBAR,” and the sixth season of “Black Mirror.”

Netflix Leads the Leisure-Movies & Related Industry Group

Amidst the company’s achievements, Netflix’s stock ranks first among 21 stocks in IBD’s Leisure-Movies & Related industry group, with an impressive IBD Composite Rating of 94 out of 99. The IBD Composite Rating, which takes into account key fundamental and technical metrics, showcases the strength of Netflix’s performance in the market.


Netflix’s paid-sharing initiative drove exceptional subscriber growth in the second quarter. Although the company missed its sales target, it continues to be a leader in the industry. Investors remain optimistic about Netflix’s future prospects, especially with the promising expansion of the paid-sharing program and the advertising business. As Netflix strives to maintain its competitive edge, the company’s ability to deliver engaging and popular content will be vital in sustaining its growth trajectory in the entertainment streaming market.


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