Netflix stock hits all-time high on UK cable deal

Netflix stock hits all-time high on deal with cable company Virgin Media

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Netflix Inc. jumped to an all-time high Tuesday after Virgin Media, a U.K. cable company, said that it was offering Netflix's streaming TV and movie service to some of its customers.

The deal with Virgin Media could open the door for similar agreements with other cable or satellite providers, said Citi analyst Mark May.

And it signifies that Netflix is increasingly being viewed as a TV network. Netflix has been acting more like a TV network lately by investing money in developing its own programing. This year it has released several original programs, including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black." And there are plans for more. In June, it struck a deal to run original TV shows for children from animation studio DreamWorks Animation.

Virgin Media, a unit of telecommunications and cable company Liberty Global PLC, said that it is giving access to Netflix to customers that have a TiVo set-top box. Virgin Media expects 1.7 million customers to have access to Netflix by the end of this year.

No financial terms were released.

Netflix did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.

The deal makes Netflix easier to use, as users don't need to switch devices, said two analysts from Janney Capital Markets. If more Virgin Media customers use Netflix, that could hurt traditional networks.

Shares of the Los Gatos, Calif., company rose $18.90, or 6.4 percent, to close at $313.06. Earlier, its shares hit an all-time high of $313.24. The last time Netflix's stock passed $300 was in July 2011, when the company raised prices for its services. The price increase angered customers, sparking a stock selloff. But shares have recovered since then. Netflix's shares have more than tripled since the beginning of the year.

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