Netflix adds more subscribers than expected

Netflix’s shares haven’t managed to climb back to a record set in July but they remain up 77% for the year

Tuesday is likely to be a hard day for Netflix investors as they brace themselves for the Q3 earnings report.

The Los Gatos, California-based company said revenue jumped 34 percent to $4 billion, matching estimates of Wall Street analysts polled by Refinitiv.

But the Netflix cash burn, as it's called on the Street, is a worthy issue for investors to monitor as it's starting to change the complexion of the company's financials.

But even at the time, analysts noted that the company tended to follow a pattern of second-quarter dips followed by third-quarter surges; indeed, in the third quarter in 2016, subscriber numbers rose after a second-quarter disappointment.

Subscriber additions: 7 million total.

Analysts estimate that it added about 676 hours of original programming in the USA in the most recent quarter - 135% more than in the same period a year ago. Netflix is set to lose television perennial Friends, a crown jewel in their streaming library, in 2019.

The company exceeded forecasts in both US and worldwide markets but the bulk of the new subscribers came from outside the United States, where the company has been investing aggressively.

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Netflix said it expects operating margins at the lower end of the 10 percent to 11 percent range for the full year 2018.

Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said Netflix is "just getting started in India" and that the company has a long runway ahead of itself. Netflix first signed a carrier billing in India with Vodafone a year ago; postpaid customers could pay for Netflix on their monthly bills.

Wall Street's confidence took a hit after Netflix reported disappointing subscriber gains this spring, with the stock falling sharply in the next day's trading.

Higher prices used to trigger cancellations, but the streaming service seems more immune. Disney and AT&T Inc, the parent of Warner Bros. and HBO, are each looking to introduce new services next year - after completing takeovers of other companies worth a combined $160 billion.

So what do you think of Netflix plans to spend $8 billion on new content?

"That's going to make it exciting for us, great for consumers and incredible for producers, " he said.

The firm's shares are have risen than 65% so far this year. While most of that still funds shows licensed from other companies, original programs account for a growing share. But investors may wonder where the money is going if Netflix misses again.

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