NEW YORK (The Street) -- Netflix (NFLX) shareholders on Tuesday approved a massive increase in the number of shares the company is authorized to issue, the first step toward a possible stock split.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings announced at the company's annual meeting that management will seek approval from the board "in due course" to pursue a stock split, Netflix spokeswoman Anne Marie Squeo said. The video-streaming service won approval to raise its share authorization by almost 30 times to 5 billion from 170 million.

The company is the top performer on the Nasdaq 100 this year, with shares almost doubling year to date. On Wednesday, the stock closed at $671.10, up 3.7%.

Netflix has been focusing on international expansion as growth slows in the United States, where it has reshaped TV viewing habits since it was first launched in 2007.

Shareholders also approved non-binding proposals to elect board members annually, to require a simple majority vote for all measures and to increase the ability of investors to nominate directors.

As for a stock split, it could make the stock more appealing to retail investors and -- crucially for Netflix -- more affordable to employees participating in its stock-option program.

There's been a slew of news bolstering shares lately. Investors applauded Netflix's planned to launch in Italy, Portugal, and Spain in October, as the company continues with its plan to be in 200 countries by the end of 2016. Market-tracking firm IHS forecast that Netflix will top 21 million subscribers in Western Europe by 2019, which would increase its footprint in the region by a factor of seven since 2013.

On Monday, Netflix announced it has acquired Brad Pitt's feature film, War Machine. In addition to putting the film on its service, Netflix will offer a limited theatrical run of the film in the fall so that it can qualify for the Oscars and Golden Globes.

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