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Netflix Reports Strong Q1 Results, Outlook Weak

Online-video streaming service Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Tuesday reported a first-quarter profit that rose from last year, as subscriber additions surged. Earnings for the quarter trumped Wall Street estimates, as did revenues. However, moving ahead, Netflix detailed a weak second-quarter guidance.

Netflix added 9.60 million subscribers globally in the quarter, above its forecast of 8.90 million, to end the quarter with 148.86 million subscribers. The company added 1.74 million customers in the U.S. during the quarter, above its estimates of 1.60 million. International subscriber additions were 7.86 million, above its expectation of 7.30 million.

Looking forward to the second quarter, Netflix expects to add 8.90 million memberships, with 0.30 million in the U.S. and 5.00 million internationally.

Los Gatos, California-based Netflix's first-quarter profit rose to $344 million or $0.76 per share from $290 million or $0.64 per share last year. On average, 36 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.57 per share for the quarter.

Netflix's revenues for the quarter rose 22.2% to $4.52 billion from $3.70 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $4.50 billion for the quarter.

"Revenue surpassed $4.5 billion in Q1 and we recorded the highest quarterly paid net adds in our history (9.6m, up 16% year over year). For 20 years, we've had the same strategy: when we please our members, they watch more and we grow more," said the company in a press release.

The video-streaming service provider said average paid streaming memberships rose 26%, ARPU decreased 2% year over year.

Looking forward to the second-quarter, Netflix expects revenues of $4.93 billion and earnings of $0.55 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently expect earnings of $0.99 per share and revenues of $4.95 billion.

NFLX closed Thursday's trading at $359.46, up $10.59 or 3.04%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, slipped $1.96 or 0.55% in the after-hours trade.

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