Netflix-New Subscribers Disappoint, Stock Falls

Jan 20 (Reuters) – Netflix picked up fewer new subscribers than expected in the last three months of 2021 and its forecast for the current quarter is below Wall Street consensus, a sign that the U.S. online video giant suffers from competition.

The world number one in the sector reported Thursday 8.3 million additional subscribers over the October-December period while financial analysts expected 8.4 million according to Refinitiv IBES data.

In total, the group had 221.8 million subscribers worldwide at the end of December.

Netflix raised its prices last week in the United States and Canada, two countries which constitute its main market but in which its growth is slowing down.

After taking advantage of confinements and the closure of cinemas at the start of 2020, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group saw its development slow down in 2021 with only 18.2 million new subscribers, compared to 36 million the previous year.

Its growth should stabilize in 2022 and return to its pre-pandemic level, analysts say.

Netflix can count on the release of new seasons of hit series such as “Ozark” or “Stranger Things” for the next few months, but the competition is increasingly tough, its rivals Walt Disney and HBO Max, a subsidiary of AT&T, investing billions of dollars.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Netflix achieved a turnover of 7.71 billion dollars (billion euros), in line with market consensus. He expects a turnover of 7.90 billion for January-March while the market expects 8.11 billion.

(Report Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bangalore, French version Marc Angrand)

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