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Netflix celebrates Emmy nods with blowout earnings

The video streaming service posts numbers that top expectations even though it cancelled a few key shows in the reporting period.

Netflix Log
Netflix added 5 million customers during the second quarter of the year.
Ted Soqui

Netflix has something else to crow about beyond its 91 Emmy nominations.

The streaming video service on Monday said it added 5.2 million new customers in the second quarter, up from 1.7 last year. In the US, the company added 1.07 million customers, up from 160,000 a year ago. While the US is still its core market, this quarter marked the first time international users made up a majority (50.1 percent) of its total base.

Earnings and revenue all topped Wall Street expectations as Netflix's results looked strong across the board.

The positive results fly in the face of concerns Netflix was feeling a squeeze from producing so many shows and movies. In May, Netflix canceled "The Get Down," a show Variety reported cost $120 million to make. "Sense 8," which developed a cult following, also got the axe. During a conference call Monday, Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said Netflix has a 93 percent renewal rate. Cancellations make room for new shows. 

"If you're not failing maybe you're not trying hard enough," Sarandos said.

It turns out a few cancellations aren't going to annoy you enough to leave the service.

Shares rose 10 percent to $179.20 in after-hours trading. The stock has nearly doubled in the last year.

One of the more notable debuts in the quarter was "War Machine," a film starring Brad Pitt that normally would've gone the route of movie theaters.

"Just as we changed and reinvented the TV business by putting consumers first and making access to content more convenient, we believe internet TV can similarly reinvigorate the film business,"Chief Executive Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells said in a letter to shareholders.

On the TV front, Netflix boasted a haul of Emmy nominations -- second only to HBO. High-profile nods include "Stranger Things," "House of Cards," and "Master of None."

Looking ahead, Netflix expects to add 750,000 streaming members in the US and 3.7 million internationally in the current quarter. The company traditionally adds more customers internationally because it's a newer player in most overseas markets.

"Our business is a little tough to predict," Wells said, "We still think the driver is the adoption of internet television."

Netflix also predicted 32 cents per share in earnings in the third quarter. On average, Wall Street analysts who track the company expected 23 cents.

Overall, Netflix reported a second-quarter profit of $66 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with $41 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 32.3 percent to $2.8 billion.

Analysts on average expected per-share profit of 16 cents and $2.8 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance.

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