NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) shares fell sharply in late trades on Monday after the company gave a disappointing outlook for the current quarter and said it expects spending on content to double in 2012.
The company said it sees earnings of 36 to 70 cents a share for the fourth quarter, well below the current average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of $1.08 a share.
Netflix also said it expects to report a consolidated net loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, and that it's pausing on further international expansion after pushing into the United Kingdom and halting buybacks in order to maintain cash at adequate levels to "support the growth of the business."
The stock was last quoted at $85.86, down 28%, on volume of more than 6.5 million, according to Nasdaq.com. The after-hours low of $85 represents a new 52-week low for the shares and their lowest level since May 2010.Netflix said it's experienced a "wave" of cancellations since unveiling a new pricing plan in September, but that this wave "peaked a few weeks ago and cancellations are now steadily declining." The company expects to be slightly negative with additions of streaming net subscribers for the fourth quarter. Domestic streaming subscriptions are forecast between 20 million and 21.5 million for the fourth quarter with domestic DVD subscriptions projected between 10.3 million and 11.3 million, and total international subscriptions pegged between 1.6 million and 2 million. The company closed the third quarter with 21.45 million streaming subscribers and 13.93 million DVD subscribers.