Peter Kafka

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Netflix Says Streaming-Only Subscriptions Could Come This Year, More International Expansion in 2011

First look at Netflix earnings: Revenue of $553 million and GAAP earnings of $0.70. Non-GAAP earnings were $.078. Wall Street was looking for $551 million and $0.71 from Reed Hastings’s company.

Netflix ended the quarter with 16.9 million subscribers, which beats the Street’s 16.6 million consensus, and should please investors. And it has also pushed up its Q4 expectations–it now expects to have between 19 million and 19.7 million subscribers at the end of the year, up from earlier projections of 17.7 million to 18.5 million.

Other guidance: Revenue of $586 million to $598 million, versus $580 million to $596 million. The Street was looking for $592 million.

GAAP net income of $32 million to $40 million, unchanged.
GAAP EPS of $0.59 to $0.74 per diluted share, unchanged.

Two important points deep into the accompanying “management commentary“:

  • The company, which moved into Canada this year, is contemplating moving “beyond North America” in the second half of 2011. If it does, it will spend about $50 million on the effort.
  • A bit more info on the possibility of a streaming-only option in the U.S., which the company had previously talked about. It is testing one now, and says, “If our results are as strong as we think they will be, then we will look to start this offering later in this Q4.

Earnings “cheat sheet” via Citi’s Mark Mahaney:

Netflix earnings are getting progressively more interesting, as the company pushes further and further into digital video, which brings it into competition (and/or cooperation) with…everybody: Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. I’ll be back at 6 pm ET for the conference call.

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