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Apr 19, 2016

Netflix comes back to the pack

Has the fizz gone out of on-demand video streaming, or is it just Netflix? Wall Street thinks it’s the latter judging by the 12% slump in the Netflix stock in the minutes after the co

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Has the fizz gone out of on-demand video streaming, or is it just Netflix? Wall Street thinks it’s the latter judging by the 12% slump in the Netflix stock in the minutes after the company revealed sluggish first-quarter figures this morning.

And the forecast for the current second quarter was weaker than expected as the company blamed the slide on last year’s spike in new customers on the official move to new markets, including Australia. Overall the streaming business added a total of 6.74 million new subscribers in the March quarter to 47 million domestic customers, up 2.23 million. It also had 34.5 million international subs, up 4.51 million. But that growth will slide to just 2.5 million new subscribers — half a million in the US and 2 million internationally, below market forecasts. The company reported net income of US$27.7 million in the quarter, 16.7% above the first quarter of 2015. Revenues came in on forecast at US$1.96 billion.

In January, Netflix launched in 130 new markets including India, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Netflix said in a letter to shareholders that it was in “continuing discussions” but had “no material update on our approach or timing” for the expansion into China.

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