Netflix reports dramatic slowdown in subscribers

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(L-R) Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos attend the “Marseille” Netflix TV Serie World Premiere At Palais Du Pharo In Marseille, on May 4, 2016 in Marseille, France.
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Netflix is set to report earnings for the first quarter of 2021 after the bell on Tuesday.

Here are the key numbers expected ahead of the results:

  • Earnings per share (EPS): $2.97 expected, according to Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $7.13 billion expected, according to Refinitiv
  • Global paid net subscriber additions: 6.2 million expected, according to Factset

It will likely be difficult for investors to directly compare this quarter’s earnings year over year due to the upswing in users who flocked to streaming for entertainment at the beginning of the pandemic. The company added 15.77 million global paid net subscribers for the first quarter of 2020.

Still, investors will be particularly attuned to the company’s subscriber growth. Both an end to the coronavirus pandemic and the start of summer could stem the company’s user additions. The company surpassed 200 million paid subscribers for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Despite a tough y/y subscriber comparable for 1Q21, we are positive on NFLX shares into Tuesday’s print. Subs expectations are pegged conservatively to ’17 levels and we see several tailwinds mitigating a recent price hike and improving mobility picture,” Piper Sandler analysts said in a note last week to clients.

This is also the first quarter Netflix is going up against ViacomCBS‘ new streaming service, Paramount+. It has continued to hold itself against a bevy of competitors including Disney‘s Disney+ and Hulu, AT&T‘s HBO Max, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime and Comcast NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

“We believe that Netflix will continue to see durable growth despite increasing competition and should face less regulatory scrutiny vs mega-cap tech peers,” Bank of America analysts said in an April 16 note.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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