Netflix sees 36% bump in profits for Q4

Netflix, whose stock reach a 52-week high earlier this week, topped analysts forecasts for its fourth-quarter earnings, scoring a 36 percent boost in profits and sending the stock price scooting more than 13 percent higher in after-hours trading.

The company said it added more than 1 million subscribers during the quarter, taking it to 12.3 million. Last year, the company said it had 9.4 million subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter. It expects to have up to 16.3 million subscribers by the end of 2010. It also said subscriber churn had declined to 3.9 percent from 4.4 percent in the third quarter.

Netflix previously said it expected to see growth because of new streaming deals with Sony and Nintendo to stream movies through the company's game consoles, the PS3 and Wii.

Netflix reported a $30.9 million profit, or 56 cents a share on revenue of $444.5 million; earnings a year ago were $22.7 million, or 38 cents a share on revenue of $423.1.

"In 2010, we expect to extend our operating momentum as we grow the business both rapidly and profitably," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Netflix reported the viewing time of its audience also was up; 48 percent of Netflix users watched more than 15 minutes on a TV episode of movie in the quarter compared to just 28 percent a year ago.

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