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Netflix shares recover after third quarter subscriber growth tops expectations

The company eased some concern about impending competition from Apple and Disney

Netflix on a Mac laptop
In order to compete with Apple+ and Disney+, both of which are expected to be cheaper, Netflix is doubling down on content

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares were trading higher on Thursday after the company added more subscribers in the third quarter than analysts hadf expected. 

The streaming giant signed up 6.77 million customers during the three months ended September 30, beating expectations for 6.7 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

That, combined with an earnings beat of $1.47 per share, versus analysts' consensus estimate of $1.04, was enough to stave off some investor concern about the looming competition from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) streaming offerings.

In another blow, AMC Theatres, the biggest cinema chain in the world, said Tuesday it is launching a streaming service that will allow members of its loyalty program to rent or buy films and watch them at home, the first such offering from a cinema operator.

Netflix shares rose 2.4% Thursday morning to $293.13.

For the fourth quarter, which will see the launch of both rival streaming services, Netflix is projecting revenue of $5.4 billion — 30% higher year over year but below expectations of $5.4 billion.

In order to compete with Apple+ and Disney+ - which at $4.99 and $6.99 per month, respectively, are both expected to be cheaper servivces - Netflix said it is doubling down on content.

The fourth quarter will see the arrival of the Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman, as well as other titles like The Witcher and 6 Underground. New content stands to become even more important going forward if third party gems like The Office and Friends eventually move to NBC’s planned streaming service

“We’ve been preparing for this new wave of competition for a long time,” the company said in its earnings report. “While the new competitors have some great titles (especially catalog titles), none have the variety, diversity and quality of new original programming that we are producing around the world.”

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Netflix

Price: 302.6 USD

NASDAQ:NFLX
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $132.61 billion
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