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Netflix Q3 earnings beat with streamer adding 2.4M subscribers

Netflix (NFLX) reported its fiscal third quarter earnings on Tuesday after the bell, crushing expectations and prompting shares to surge more than 14% in after-hours trading.

Here are Netflix's third quarter results compared to Wall Street's consensus estimates, as compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Revenue: $7.93 billion versus $7.85 billion expected

  • Adj. earnings per share (EPS): $3.10 versus $2.22 expected

  • Subscriber net additions: +2.41 million versus +1 million estimated

In a note to shareholders, the company said, "After a challenging first half, we believe we’re on a path to reaccelerate growth. The key is pleasing members. It’s why we’ve always focused on winning the competition for viewing every day. When our series and movies excite our members, they tell their friends, and then more people watch, join and stay with us."

The company attributed its success in the quarter to several TV and film hits, including "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," "Stranger Things S4," "Extraordinary Attorney Woo," "The Gray Man," and "Purple Hearts."

Additionally, Netflix noted its streaming prowess relative to competitors, writing, "Our competitors are investing heavily to drive subscribers and engagement, but building a large, successful streaming business is hard - we estimate they are all losing money, with combined 2022 operating losses well over $10 billion, vs. Netflix's $5 to $6 billion annual operating profit."

"Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" (Courtesy: Netflix)
"Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" (Courtesy: Netflix)

Tuesday's earnings marked the first time this year the company has added subscribers, which mostly came from outside of the United States. In the first and second quarters, the company lost 200,000 and 970,000 subscribers, respectively.

The company said it will stop giving guidance on paid memberships moving forward due to its introduction of new revenue streams. For now, though, it estimated an addition of 4.5 million subscribers next quarter (above prior forecasts of 3.9 million.)

To help stem earlier subscriber losses, the company plans to launch an ad-supported subscription tier in November.

Most analysts have remained bullish on the profitability aspects of the new ad tier.

UBS analyst John Hodulik recently upped his price target on the stock by $52 to $250 a share, and JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth said that the ad tier's lower price point ($6.99 in the U.S.) indicates Netflix's confidence in advertising revenue.

Elsewhere on Wall Street, Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet (who maintains a Buy rating on the stock) said that the upcoming ad tier "could point to material upside" in free cash flow, and Evercore ISI's Mark Mahaney predicted that ad-supported will bring in $1 to $2 billion in incremental revenue by 2024.

On a call prior to the ad tier announcement, Netflix Worldwide Advertising President Jeremi Gorman said the platform "nearly sold out all of its [ad] inventory" globally for launch — bucking the trend of a global ad spend slowdown.

Despite the earnings beat, the company lowered its guidance, citing foreign exchange (FX) headwinds as the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen against most major currencies.

"Based on our YTD actuals and Q4 guidance, we estimate that this appreciation since January 1, 2022 will negatively impact our full year 2022 revenue and operating income by ~$1 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively," the company noted in the release.

Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com

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