Netflix set to report fourth-quarter earnings after the bell

Earnings

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(L-R) Co-CEOs of Netflix Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos arrive for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 06, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
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Netflix is set to report fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.

Here are the key numbers analysts are looking for:

  • Earnings per share (EPS): 82 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts.
  • Revenue: $7.71 billion expected, according to Refinitiv.
  • Global paid net subscriber additions: 8.19 million, according to StreetAccount estimates

Analysts are expecting the company to add 8.19 million global paid net subscribers, which would nearly double the amount from the prior quarter. Netflix added 4.4 million subscribers in the third quarter.

Netflix and analysts had anticipated a large jump in consumers toward the end of 2021 when the company released new TV shows and movies that had been pushed to the back half of the year.

Bright spots in the quarter could come from strong releases such as the celebrity-filled “Don’t Look Up” and “Emily in Paris.” The company had said it would spend $17 billion on content in 2021. It hasn’t released figures yet for 2022 spending.

Netflix announced price increases in the U.S. and Canada last week. In the States, the monthly cost for the basic plan rose $1 to $9.99. The standard plan jumped from $13.99 to $15.49 and the premium plan rose from $17.99 to $19.99.

Netflix’s strategy is to increase prices as customers become even more entrenched in the company’s exclusive content. Price increases can help offset waning customer growth.

But some analysts seemed wary ahead of the earnings report.

“With 4Q21 widely billed as Netflix’s biggest content quarter ever, we would expect investors to recalibrate their long-term outlook based on whether or not this large content slate drove strong growth,” Credit Suisse’s Douglas Mitchelson said in a note last week.

Netflix also continues to face steep competition against services like Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and others.

“Based on our reading of multiple data points, it feels to us that Netflix’s U.S. business is being impacted by … the increasingly aggressive streaming strategies of legacy media companies,” MoffettNathanson’s Michael Nathanson wrote last week.

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