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Netflix shares see new 52-week high

Wall Street began rewarding Netflix for a big fourth quarter. The company's shares jumped 15 percent in morning trading to top $211.

On the heels of reporting a a whopper fourth quarter, Netflix shares hit a 52-week high of $211 in this morning's trading.

Netflix shares today jumped more than 15 percent to hit $211.30 after closing at $183.03 yesterday following its quarterly earnings report. Wall Street is obviously thrilled with the 3 million new subscribers that Netflix reported adding in the quarter ending December 31. The total number of Netflix subscribers stands now at more than 20 million.

The report released yesterday showed that the company blew past the street's profit expectations. The consensus among analysts was for Netflix to pay 71 cents per share but the company paid 87 cents.

Perhaps the Albanian army is on the move.

That's a reference to a comment made by Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner's CEO. He and some of his lieutenants have dismissed Netflix's chances of becoming a major power in movie distribution. The odds of Netflix accomplishing that were comparable to the Albanian army's chances of taking over the world.

While it's fun to poke fun at Bewkes, there's still plenty that could get in Netflix's way. The company's revenues were slightly light and there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that some Netflix users are dissatisfied with the quality of films in its streaming library. Cable pay TV services have long established relationships with Hollywood film studios and they typically pay more for content than Netflix.

Another challenge comes from the Internet service providers that want Netflix to pay the full costs of delivering streaming content to consumers.

But on this issue, Netflix has begun to push back. Sometime today, Netflix will release a report on which ISPs are best at delivering streaming video to customers' homes. The report could prove embarrassing for some bandwidth providers.