Jul 17, 2019 - Technology

Netflix stock sinks after U.S. subscriber loss

Netflix stock was down more than 10% in after-hours trading Wednesday following the company's announcement that it lost over 100,000 U.S. subscribers last quarter. It was expected to gain roughly 300,000 subscribers.

Why it matters: Analysts weren't expecting the streaming giant to lose subscribers, especially since rival streaming services, like HBO Max, Disney + and NBCUniversal's new service, aren't expected to launch for another year or so.

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • Earnings per share: 60 cents vs. 56 cents expected, per Refinitiv consensus estimate.
  • Revenue: $4.92 billion vs. $4.93 billion expected, per Refinitiv.
  • Domestic paid subscriber additions: A loss of 126,000 vs. a gain of 352,000, forecast by FactSet.
  • International paid subscriber additions: 2.83 million vs. 4.81 million, forecast by FactSet.

Details: Netflix also announced that it missed on guidance for international subscriber additions. Investors were hoping Netflix could continue to grow international subscribers while domestic subscriber growth stalled.

  • The Los Angeles-based company also missed slightly on revenue, but exceeded earnings per share.

Yes, but: Netflix is estimating higher third-quarter subscriber growth in light of new popular content additions, including the third season of "Stranger Things," which was released in early July, as well as new seasons of "The Crown" and "Orange is the New Black."

Be smart: Netflix also increased prices this past quarter, which may have also impacted subscriber growth.

The big picture: The company is also struggling to convince investors that subscriber growth won't be impacted by the loss of hit catalog series, like "The Office," which is moving to NBC, and "Friends," which will be available on HBO Max.

  • In a letter to investors, Netflix said it has been moving its own exclusive content to tighter windows and that it doesn't think losing catalogs will hurt its business in the long term.
  • "From what we’ve seen in the past when we drop strong catalog content (Starz and Epix with Sony, Disney, and Paramount films, or 2nd run series from Fox, for example) our members shift over to enjoying our other great content," the letter said.

Go deeper: The business of Netflix

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