Netflix hits 86.74 million subscribers and spikes 20% as growth exceeds expectations

Streaming giant Netflix now has 86.74 million subscribers after adding 3.2 million abroad and 370,000 in the U.S. during the third quarter. These stats beat the estimates Netflix shared three months ago: 2 new million international subscribers and 300,000 new U.S. subscribers.

Before Netflix shared its own estimates for the third quarter, analysts originally expected Netflix to add about 2.85 million international subscribers and 774,000 more domestically.

Not much has changed for Netflix this year, fiscally. The company continues to lead the pack in streaming, but the company faces some hurdles, namely: big content costs, ever more capable competitors, and slowing U.S. growth. The third quarter brought a nice uptick in U.S. subscribers, but it doesn’t eliminate the wider trend.

For what it’s worth, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says there is no content bubble, and investors seem pretty damn happy for the moment.

The streaming giant reported $2.29 billion in revenue and $0.12 earnings per share for the quarter. Analysts had expected the company to report about $2.28 billion in revenue (up from $1.74 billion last year) and $0.06 earnings per share (up from $0.07).

Netflix stock was trading down by more than one percent during regular trading today, and rose by about 20 percent after hours.

Next quarter, the company anticipates it will add 1.45 million new U.S. subscribers and 3.75 million international subscribers, down a bit from last year due to churn from the “un-grandfathering” of subscribers with cheaper subscription plans.

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