Netflix Driving Higher Earnings, More Subscribers

Despite stiff competition and the rising cost of quality content, analysts expect Netflix to report strong fourth-quarter earnings, next week.
The streaming service’s success, as J.P. Morgan sees it, is due to a net gain of roughly 2 million subscribers during the quarter -- which, if accurate, would represent an 8% gain year-over-year.
Along with seasonal trends, content -- original and otherwise -- Netflix is credited with driving subscription growth.
“The company should benefit from continued improvements in content, including originals, as well as [fourth-quarter] seasonality driven by more Internet-connected devices and colder weather,” J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a report released on Friday.
The investment bank expects Netflix to report Q4 revenue of 1.16 billion -- which would meet previous estimates -- and streaming revenue of $956 million.
“We remain positive on Netflix shares as the company continues to significantly disrupt the linear TV market through strong subscriber growth, content differentiation and a compelling consumer proposition,” Anmuth explained.
That is, despite the fact that Netflix didn’t debut any “highly anticipated originals” during the quarter, according to Anmuth. "Turbo Fast" was the only original launched during the quarter.
Previously launched originals, like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is The New Black," as well as exclusive subscription streaming of "Breaking Bad," are making Netflix an increasingly popular destination for users looking to catch up on prior seasons.
Going forward, “we expect increasing consumer awareness of Netflix originals to continue in 2014 -- for both existing and new content -- driving greater content differentiation and subscriber additions,” Anmuth explained.
As a result, J.P. Morgan is projecting that Netflix will net nearly 2 million subscribers during the first quarter of 2014, and take in revenue of $1.24 billion.

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