Netflix Down on Lost Subscribers

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) said on Wednesday it lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years and missed targets for new subscribers overseas, an announcement that jarred investors ahead of looming competition.

Netflix shares tumbled $32.91, or 9.1%, in early Thursday trading to $329.53, after the company posted quarterly results that showed it shed 130,000 U.S. customers from April to June.

The world's dominant subscription video service said its slate of new shows during the quarter was not as appealing as expected and price increases in some markets dented growth.

Netflix reported that it added 2.83 million paid streaming subscribers outside the United States, below analyst expectations of 4.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Analysts had forecast a U.S. gain of 352,000.

"Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases," the company said in a letter to shareholders.
"We think Q2's content slate drove less growth in paid adds than we anticipated," it said.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on a video call with analysts the company's internal projection still showed it expected to end 2019 with more new subscribers than it added in 2018. It currently boasts 151.6 million streaming customers worldwide.

"I think our position is excellent," he said.

Netflix has staked its future on global expansion and creating original TV shows, movies and documentaries to attract new customers and keep the existing ones paying monthly subscription fees.