Netflix Jumps On Earnings, Guidance Beat

LOS GATOS, Calif. ( TheStreet) - Netflix ( NLFX) shares gapped higher following a better than expected fourth-quarter earnings report and first-quarter revenue guidance.

The online content company reported earnings of 73 cents per share on $876 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Netflix to earn 55 cents per share on $857.89 million in revenue.

For the first quarter, Netflix expects to lose between 16 cents and 49 cents per share on revenue between $842 million and $877 million. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect a loss of 30 cents per share on $847.8 million in revenue.

The company added 610,000 total U.S. subscribers during the quarter for a total of 24.4 million subscribers. Of that 610,000 subscriber addition, 220,000 were streaming only subscribers. International subscribers grew 380,000, to a total of 1.86 million streaming subscribers.

"For Q1 to date, our domestic net additions for streaming are tracking close to our net additions in Q1 2010 of 1.7 million net additions," the company said, in a press release. "Given this trend, we are comfortable with our ability to continue to expand our domestic streaming contribution margin."

Netflix generated $34 million of free cash flow during the quarter. At the end of the quarter, Netflix had $798 million in cash on its books.

The company said that more original series are planned for the coming years, including House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, and a fourth season of Arrested Development, coming in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Netflix will hold a conference call at 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss the results.

Shares of Netflix are soaring in after-hours trading following the release, up more than 10.7% to $105.10, according to Nasdaq.com.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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