Netflix shares flirt with new highs after strong subscriber outlook

Added together, Netflix now has 98.75 million total subscribers.

The firm said its House of Cards series, which last year debuted in the first quarter but for this year has been pushed into the second quarter, was the main reason for the lower-than-expected subscriber growth.

Sure, there are many more people on planet Earth that don't subscribe to Netflix. However, Netflix distinctly had a vision before those devices became so universal.

But Symphony Advanced Media, a company that claims it can extrapolate viewership ratings for Netflix, has said that "Fuller House" and "Making a Murderer" were Netflix's two most-watched shows last season.

"The thing is, everybody watches TV, and almost everybody has the Internet", Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during the company's first-quarter 2017 earnings webcast.

Dwelling on the subscriber guidance, the analyst said the company's domestic subscriber guidance of 0.6 million was ahead of his estimate of 0.21 million and the consensus estimate of 0.19 million.

About 51 million of Netflix's subscribers are in the U.S. By the end of this year, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson expects the majority of the company's subscribers to be overseas.

The video streaming service's launch to a global audience is just starting as well, with several countries still slotted to get access to their favorite programs on the platform. "We don't think it will have much of an impact on us as Netflix is largely complementary to pay TV packages", Netflix wrote.

As it is, Netflix expects to spend about $6 billion on programming this year. The actual figure came in at 4.95 million additional subscribers.

Netflix shares have been trading at near record levels. The online streaming giant also confirms that it's made a deal with Sandler to release four more films exclusively with Netflix. Adding comedy, movies, and localized content will continue to push the company forward, growing its subscriber base while keeping existing customers happy. In fact, free cash flow (FCF) for the company is predicted to hit a remarkable negative $2 billion as compared to 2016's negative FCF of $1.7 billion - a difference of around $300 million.

Before he signaled the interviewees to end the session, Hastings let us all in on how he sees the future of Netflix, a service that is streaming a little more than one billion hours of content per week.

  • Zachary Reyes