On Wednesday, Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) increased to $586.34, up +16.85 percent. By late 2020, Netflix had reached 200 million paid subscribers globally, smashing the predictions of financial analysts. On Tuesday, after Wall Street closed, the U.S. streaming giant revealed that it had gained 8.5 million net users in the fourth quarter of 2020, a sharp acceleration from the third quarter (up 2.2 million). At the end of December, the number of subscribers soared by 36.6 million in 2020 (including 25.9 million in the first half) to 203.7 million. As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to restrict releases and entertainment, amid increasing subscription rates in the United States and Canada, new subscribers flocked in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Netflix’s net sales were $542 million, or $1.19 per share, compared to $1.30 per share in the fourth quarter of 2019. It is below the $1.36 per share predicted by the consensus on FactSet. Revenue rose 21 percent from $5.47 billion a year ago to $6.64 billion, just over the $6.6 billion consensuses.
Investors appreciated management’s comments on free cash flow, which, after years of intense spending in content production, is now close to being sustainable. We assume that we are very close to a healthy free cash flow that is sustainable. It will be near to equilibrium in 2021, up from previous $1 billion forecasts, management said in a letter to shareholders released on Tuesday.
The Walt Disney Corporation (DIS) increased to $173.64, up +0.8 percent. Walt Disney claims his top employees, including President Bob Iger, are not likely to collect last year’s bonuses.