Apr 21, 2020 - Technology

Netflix stock surges after posting massive Q1 subscriber increases

Gif of Netflix flexing
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix's stock was up more than 10% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the entertainment giant blew past investor expectations for subscriber growth in the first quarter.

Why it matters: Nielsen and other measurement vendors reported that Netflix was experiencing a surge in viewership during the coronavirus pandemic. Netflix blew past the high end of Wall Street's new subscriber estimates, nearly doubling them.

Details: The company also posted its first quarter as a cash flow positive company, partly because it had to halt production spend in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Yes, but: The streamer conceded that although viewership and subscriber numbers were up, the rate of the U.S. dollar depressed its international revenue, resulting in revenue-as-forecast.

Between the lines: Netflix benefitted from a few huge hits this past quarter as well. The streaming giant, which uses its own measurement standards that are not precisely comparable to television viewership standards, said 64 million households watched its hit documentary 'Tiger King," and its hit reality show 'Love Is Blind' was viewed by 30 million.

By the numbers, per CNBC:

  • Earnings per share: $1.57 per share vs. $1.65 (per Refinitiv consensus estimates)
  • Revenue: $5.77 billion vs. $5.76 billion expected, per Refinitiv
  • Paid subscriber additions: 15.77 vs. 7.2 million expected, per FactSet
  • Total subscriber count: 182.86 million globally

What's next: Netflix will hold a video Q&A presentation for investors at 6pm ET.

Go deeper: Netflix's earnings over the past year:

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