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Netflix Hits High, Adds 1.7 Million Users

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) reached a new high on Thursday, a day after it said it added 1.7 million subscribers in its first-quarter, its biggest gain in new users in its 11-year history.

The DVD-by-mail retailer had a stand-out first quarter, earning $32.3 million, or 59 cents a share, a 44% surge over $22.4 million, or 37 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for earnings of 54 cents a share.

Revenue jumped 25% to $493.7 million from $444.5 million.

Netflix ended the quarter with nearly 14 million subscribers. The company predicted it would add between 1.2 million and 1.5 million subscribers during the quarter.

Another positive for Netflix: Hulu, the television streaming site, will reportedly begin charging its users for some of its content.

Despite the solid quarter, Netflix forecast second-quarter earnings that could fall short of Wall Street's forecast. The company expected profit to fall in the range of 62 cents to 73 cents a share and revenue between $517 million and $525 million. Analysts predict earnings of 68 cents on revenue of $516.2 million.

There is also one word of caution: Netflix will eventually run out of households it can sign up when the installed base reaches 29 million, Needham analyst Charles Wolf wrote in a note.

Shares of Netflix are surging 14.5% to $99.58 in Thursday morning trading. The stock reached a 52-week-high earlier of $99.78.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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