Netflix Inc. signed up 2 million more monthly subscribers than was expected by Wall Street during the last three months of 2017, helping to triple profits for the online video streaming service that has been burning cash on its own programming to dominate global internet television.
The quarterly results helped to drove the market capitalization of Netflix above $100 billion for just the first time. Shares of the video streaming service were up 9% in trading after hours Monday after rallying during the month and increasing 53% in 2017.
The company has over half of all broadband households in the U.S. as subscribers and is increasing its customer base across 190 countries through spending billions on its own content.
Netflix increased its international subscriber count by 6.36 million between October and the end of December, when it also released new programming of its critically acclaimed series The Crown and Stranger Things as well as an action movie called Bright starring Will Smith. That beat expectations on Wall Street of 5.1 million.
As well as 1.98 million additions to subscribers across the U.S., Netflix ended 2017 with 117.55 million subscribers worldwide, despite increasing monthly prices during October.
Netflix has poured large sums of money into making its own content and that has translated directly into additional subscribers, said an industry analyst on Wall Street. The company sees a great opportunity and is moving fast on it.
The company has also said it took a non-cash charge of $39 million for content that was unreleased and decided to not go forward with. One source close to that situation said the charge had been related to content that starred Kevin Spacey, who Netflix cuts its ties with after he had been accused of sexual misconduct.
Temporarily Netflix stopped its production of its award winning show House of Cards in order to write Spacey’s character out of the show and decided to not release Gore, a film that starred Spacey and was about Gore Vidal.
Spacey apologized to one accuser, and his representatives have said he is seeking an undescribed treatment.
The charge is a first sign of costs companies face following the campaign against sexual harassment that has become widespread.
Netflix was at one time just a DVD-by-mail company, but has morphed into an online competitor of HBO. As it expanded it started licensing original shows of its own to ensure new offerings would be available if suppliers from studios dried up through ending deals.