Netflix's Subscriber Gains Catapult Stock Up 20%

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NetFlix
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Netflix's decision to feature original programming on its Internet video service appears to be pulling in more customers.

Numbers released Monday showed Netflix (NFLX) added 2 million U.S. subscribers to its video streaming service during the first three months of the year. Through March, Netflix had 29.2 million U.S. streaming subscribers.

Those first-quarter gains, coupled with signs that Netflix's profit margins are widening, delighted investors. The company's stock soared $35.33, or 20 percent, to $209.70 after the results came out.

The period was highlighted by the early February debut of "House of Cards," a critically acclaimed series made exclusively for Netflix.

The subscriber growth helped Netflix bounce back from a loss at the same time last year and generate revenue slightly above analyst projections.

The company eked out a profit of $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the quarter. That contrasted with a loss of $4.6 million, or 8 cents per share, last year.

If not for the costs for refinancing some of Netflix's debt, the company said it would have earned 31 cents per share. That figure topped the average analyst estimate of 18 cents per share.

Revenue rose 18 percent from last year to $1.02 billion - about $7 million above analyst forecasts.


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