Netflix’s bet on new programming failing to take hold

Shares of Netflix dropped after market close on news it had missed analysts' subscriber targets.Associated Press file photo

Netflix Inc. shares slipped in late trading after fourth-quarter revenue came in below Wall Street estimates, a sign an explosion of new programming failed to hook enough viewers.

The streaming giant posted revenue of US$4.19 billion in the period, compared with a US$4.21 billion projection from analysts. Its forecast for the current quarter sales also fell short of estimates. It posted above-expected fourth-quarter profit of US$133.9 million, or 30 cents per share.

The results suggest that Netflix’s unprecedented spending spree on new shows may not pay off as quickly as expected. The company faces an increasingly crowded field in streaming services, with new offerings coming from Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia later this year. At the close of the third quarter, Netflix planned to spend US$8.4 billion on programming over the coming 12 months.

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