Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) smashed subscriber count estimates during its fourth quarter financial results, sending shares to all a new all time high on Tuesday. Shares opened up 13 percent higher on Tuesday, hitting a new all time high of $257.71.
For the fourth quarter, Netflix reported revenue of $3.29 billion, increasing 32.6 percent year over year, and beating Thomson Reuters analysts’ estimates of $3.28 billion. Netflix reported an EPS of $0.41, falling in line with Thomson Reuters analysts’ estimates.
Netflix surpassed all subscriber count estimates. For the fourth quarter, Netflix added 1.98 million subscribers beating estimates of 1.29 million, and its own forecast of 1.25 million. Internationally, Netflix added 6.36 million subscribers, beating analysts’ estimates of 5.05, and its forecast of 5.05 million.
Netflix’s says its strong quarter and end of the year was due to its original content such as “The Crown”, “Black Mirror”, “Stranger Things” and “Bright”, one of its most viewed original content. The streaming service company also launched new series in the quarter. Streaming per hour grew 9 percent year over year.
“It’s amazing to think that in only 5 years since launching our first original series, Netflix had three of the Top 5 most searched TV shows globally for the second year in a row.” said Netflix in a statement.
Within the quarter, Netflix also took a $39 million charge for unreleased content the company has planned not to move forward with.
Netflix says that the growth of the streaming media entertainment services have allowed media based companies to grow substantially in the recent years. More and more companies such as Youtube, Facebook, and Amazon are pushing out new content and reshaping their platforms. Companies like Disney and 21st Century have already made moves to merge to become a media giant in the industry.
For the first quarter of 2018, Netflix forecasts a global net add of 6.35 million subscribers, 1.45 million in the U.S. and 4.9 million internationally. Netflix plans to spend approximately $7.5 to $8 billion on content in 2018, but CEO Reed Hastings said in an earnings call that he expects spending to be higher in 2019 and 2020.
Netflix is also forecasting an EPS of $0.63 and revenue of $3.7 billion in the first quarter.
After the strong earnings quarter, many analysts have raised their price targets for Netflix. RBC Capital Markets and KeyBanc were the most bullish, setting price targets of $300. Currently, out of 44 analysts, 26 rate Netflix’s stock as a buy, 4 rate it as overweight, 11 rate it as a hold, and 3 rate it as a sell, with the overall consensus calling overweight.