Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Bounces Back With a Q4 Beat, but Says Amazon Is Coming

First look at Netflix Q4 earnings: Earnings of $0.73 per share and revenue of $876 million. Wall Street was expecting around $0.54 a share and $857 million.

But at least as important are the company’s subscriber numbers and guidance, which should give us a much better sense of whether consumers have forgiven/forgotten its missteps of 2011. Netflix has already warned investors that it would lose money through much of 2012, largely because of its international expansion plans.

Q4 Domestic streaming: 22 million subs
Q4 Domestic DVD: 11.17
Q4 International: 1.86 million

Outlook: The company had already warned that it may not turn a profit in 2012, and it is now being more explicit about that, citing expansion costs and diminishing DVD revenue: “We expect modest quarterly losses, as well as losses for the calendar year.

Netflix ended the year with 24.4 million U.S. subscribers. That’s up 25 percent from the previous year, and — crucially — up from the previous quarter’s total of 23.79 million subs. That doesn’t mean its customer base has completely forgiven the company, but at the very least it means it is growing again.

Investors are pleased, and are pushing the stock up 10 percent in after-hours trading.

This is a case where the cheat sheet that Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney provides is particularly useful (click to enlarge).

Here’s a very interesting note on competition from Amazon: Netflix agrees with a New York Post report this morning which says Amazon will offer a standalone video service: “We expect Amazon to continue to offer their video service as a free extra with Prime domestically but also to brand their video subscription offering as a standalone service at a price less than ours.”

Hope to hear more about that from CEO Reed Hastings during the company’s conference call, which starts at 6 pm ET.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik