Netflix shares soar as it announces 6.96m new members

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Investors typically pay more attention to Netflix's quarterly subscriber numbers than its profits, and investors' reaction to those numbers tends to be dramatic.

New customers were lured in by returning seasons of "Orange is the New Black" and "Marvel's Luke Cage", as well as new shows such as "Ozark" and "Maniac", the limited series starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, Netflix said.

While Netflix doesn't provide a country specific breakdown of its subscriber base, the company disclosed in a letter to its shareholders that it has added 5.1 million paid worldwide subscribers during the quarter ended September 30, taking its paid global base to 73.5 million subscribers. "We will take one million at a time and figure out how to expand the market as we grow" said Netflix co-founder & CEO Reed Hastings in the interview.

Executives said audiences welcomed shows tailored to specific markets, such as "Sacred Games" in India, which the company identified as key to its expansion. So we're open to those possibilities, but there's so much growth ahead that's possible in streaming video, entertainment.

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The third-quarter outperformance "reminds us that the long-term trend is clear", analysts including Benjamin Swinburne wrote in a note, saying Netflix reported nearly 1 million more net paid additions than they had expected.

"We want to assure investors that we have the same high confidence in the underlying economics as our cash investments in the past", Netflix said in its letter.

Netflix has gained 96% this year, including Tuesday's post earnings move.

It has been borrowing heavily to fund its rapid growth, issuing $7.5bn of bonds in less than three years - a strategy that could become more costly in a rising interest environment.

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The record number of additions in the latest period confirmed its rank as by far the world's biggest online subscription video service.

The region could buoy Netflix for years to come if the service can convince even 10 percent of its inhabitants to subscribe. The company had previously projected $3 billion to minus $4 billion.

That helped lift profit more than threefold to 89 cents a share, beating the 68-cent average of analysts' estimates. Revenue expanded 2.4 percent, to $4 billion.

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