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Did You Notice That Netflix's Q3 Marks The Worst Stretch Of Net Customer Adds In 5 Years?

Did You Notice That Netflix's Q3 Marks The Worst Stretch Of Net Customer Adds In 5 Years?

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) must have done everything right in its third quarter for the stock to soar nearly 20 percent, right? According to Gadfly's Shira Ovide, the answer is a clear no; there is a lot that is very wrong with Netflix's earnings report.

For starters, Netflix added fewer than 500,000 net new subscribers for the second consecutive quarter. This actually marks the worst stretch of attracting new customers to the streaming platform over the past five years.

However, Netflix did manage to sign up more customers than it expected in the quarter, and investors are clinging on to this fact. Never mind the fact that Netflix needs its domestic business to perform perfectly in order to finance the company's global ambitions.

Related Link: Sell-Side Sour Grapes? Strong Quarter From Netflix Not Enough To Convince Some Analysts

In fact, eight of the past 10 quarters were categorized by Netflix signing up fewer net new U.S. subscribers than it did in the same quarter a year ago. The fourth quarter could mark the ninth time in the past 11 this trend occurs, as the company's guidance of 1.45 million new adds is few than the 1.6 million net new adds it realized in the final quarter of 2015.

Meanwhile, Netflix hasn't posted a positive free cash flow quarter in two years, and the company's bill for future streaming video programming stands at a whopping $14.4 billion, or nearly double its total revenue over the past year.

"Netflix has made fools of its doubters many times before," Ovide concluded. "And Monday's healthy subscriber growth erased some of the fresh doubts about a Netflix subscriber growth black hole. Yet a shiny coat of paint can't hide the structural damage in the house of Netflix."

At last check, Netflix was up 19.48 percent at $119.28.

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Latest Ratings for NFLX

Jun 2019UpgradesHoldBuy
Apr 2019MaintainsOutperformOutperform
Apr 2019MaintainsOutperformOutperform

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