Netflix boosts projections; investors hate revenue miss

Company ends second quarter with a 42 percent rise in subscribers compared with last year, but it appears customers are opting for cheaper subscription options.

Peter Kafka

A first crack at Netflix' Q2 earnings: The movie rental company recorded revenue of $520 million and earnings per share of 80 cents. I don't believe that latter number includes any one-time charges, which would mean it represents a big beat: The Street was looking for $524 million and 70 cents a share. But investors are bummed out about the revenue miss, and they're pushing the stock down 9 percent in after-hours trading.

The company said it ended the quarter with 15 million subscribers, which is up 42 percent year over year and up 7 percent from Q1. It's more or less in line with what analysts expected.

The company says it expects to end the year with somewhere between 17.7 million and 18.5 million subs, which is an increase from the 16.5 million to 17.3 million range it had previously provided.

But it's barely touching its previous revenue projections: It projects $2.14 billion to $2.16 billion, just a tiny bit more than the $2.11 billion to $2.16 billion it had previously talked about. Dan Frommer calls this one: The conclusion is that customers are opting for cheaper subscription options.

Here's the company's color-coded summary of its quarter: It would like you to focus on the blue and yellow lines, but for now investors seem to be punishing it for the orange one:


And here's Citi analyst Mark Mahaney's cheat sheet so you can play along at home:

Netflix cheat sheet

And the rest of Netflix's Q2 charts are here.