Netflix's Q1 earnings hurt by U.S. dollar; maintains hope for net neutrality

Nevertheless, Netflix soared in after hours trading thanks to beating another very important target: new subscriber additions.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Following ambitious global expansion plans unveiled a few months ago, Netflix followed up with first quarter financial results after the bell on Wednesday.

The online video giant reported a net income of $24 million (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 38 cents per share on top of $1.4 billion in revenue.

But Wall Street was looking for earnings of 63 cents per share with $1.57 billion in revenue.

Strengthening a recurring theme already taking hold this earnings season, the strength of the U.S. Dollar has once again been pinpointed as the cause for the miss.

Nevertheless, Netflix shares were up by as much as seven percent within minutes of the report hitting the wires.

That's likely because Netflix beat expectations elsewhere on the report: new subscriber additions.

Netflix added 2.3 million new members in the U.S. during the first quarter, well above the expectation of 1.8 million. Internationally, Netflix added 2.6 million users versus 2.25 million expected.

Overall, Netflix added approximately 4.9 million users versus the goal of 4.1 million.

By the end of the first quarter, Netflix counted more than 40 million subscribers domestically, making for a global total of roughly 62.3 million members.

Furthermore, tucked in at the very end of the report, Netflix announced plans to ask its Board for a stock split.

Finally, as one of the most outspoken supporters in the tech industry about net neutrality, the streaming giant maintained support and hope for the movement in prepared remarks:

We support strong net neutrality across the globe, allowing all consumers to enjoy the Internet access they pay for, without ISPs blocking, throttling, or influencing content in the last mile or at interconnection points. In the US, we have been vocal advocates for, and are pleased with, recent action by the FCC to assure an open and neutral Internet under its Title II authority. In particular, we applaud the FCC for specifically addressing interconnection points. We hope this action serves as an example to regulators around the world looking to strengthen the innovative force of the Internet.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Netflix to deliver earnings of 90 cents per share with revenue of $1.66 billion.

Netflix followed up with a softer outlook of $1.474 billion in revenue and 26 cents in earnings per share.

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