This quarter Netflix added 0.4 million members in the U.S. versus its forecast of 0.3 million and 3.2 million members internationally versus its forecast of 2.0 million. Netflix ended the quarter with 47.5 million domestic subs, an addition of 370,000. It now has more than 86 million subscribers.
Netflix Inc added over 50 percent more subscribers than expected in the third quarter as original shows such as "Stranger Things" drew new global viewers and kept US customers despite a price hike, sending its shares soaring 20 percent in late trade.
The company's stock price, which had hit a rough patch after a stellar 2015, soared about 19 percent in after-hours trading. Net additions, which are the number of overall new subscribers from one quarter to the next, are growing again, after the distressing lows earlier this year.
Q3 USA subscriber growth (net additions): 370,000 versus Wall Street forecasts 304,000 compared to Netflix guidance of 300,000.
Netflix's report appeared to be strong enough to offset what could have been a negative point for the company; the admission that it won't launch its service in China, at least not any time soon.
China Launches Crewed Mission to Dock With Space Station
China's Shenzhou-11 spacecraft blasted off on Monday morning carrying two astronauts to dock with an orbiting space laboratory. China is gearing up to launch two astronauts on a month-long expedition to the country's new orbiting space lab module Sunday.
Netflix said in a letter to shareholders that it is going to explore opportunities to license its shows to other online players in China, a way to build Netflix's brand.
The video company said the revenue contribution from China licensing will be "modest".
Netflix original content is continuing to resonate with subscribers as the company zones in as a key competitor to Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX)'s HBO.
Netflix has worked to attract customers by spending billions annually on premium original movies and shows like Stranger Things, the Get Down and Narcos. It reiterated that it expects to start delivering material global profits next year. That performance beat expectations and represented a perceptual turn-around for the company after surprisingly weak growth in its second quarter (which had 83.2 million members).
From a financial perspective, net income rose to $52 million, or 12 cents a share, from $29 million or 7 cents a share a year ago, exceeding analysts' forecasts. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were modeling for Netflix to earn 6 cents a share on sales of $2.28 billion. Revenue jumped 32 percent to $2.29 billion.