Netflix shares soar to record along with subscriber numbers

Netflix shares are trading at record highs after Wednesday’s earnings report, which showed the company added a record 4.9 million new subscribers during the first quarter, besting its own expectations. The entertainment provider says it now has 62.3 million subscribers worldwide.

“Our original content strategy is playing out as we hoped, driving lots of viewing in an economic way for Netflix while bolstering the positive perception of our brand and service around the world,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a letter to shareholders.

Analysts are increasing their price targets for the Los Gatos company’s stock, including FBR Capital Markets, which raised its target to a whopping $900 and said TV subscribers love Netflix more than TV.

Netflix shares are climbing about 17 percent to $556.50 right now, up about 63 percent for the year so far.

Mark Mahaney, Internet analyst at RBC Capital Markets, is bullish on Netflix’s international growth prospects.

“The market is essentially saying, and we agree, that you can build a high-growth, profitable business in the U.S. and take that model and expand it overseas,” Mahaney said on CNBC‘s “Squawk on the Street” today. RBC raised its price target to $600 with an outperform rating.

Today’s analyst action follows other analyst optimism before Netflix released earnings this week, as Jeremy Owens wrote in Biz Break. All the hoopla also comes amid Netflix’s plans for a stock split; the company noted in a filing last week that it would seek shareholder approval to sharply boost the number of shares available on the open market.

 

Photo from Getty Images

 

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