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Netflix Reports Q4 Earnings, Exceeds Wall Street Expectations

The company's net income increased to $8.83 billion in Q4, compared to $7.85 billion in the same quarter of the previous year.
Cover Image Source: Netflix reports Q4 earnings | Pexels | Photo by John-Mark Smith
Cover Image Source: Netflix reports Q4 earnings | Pexels | Photo by John-Mark Smith

Following the addition of 13.1 million subscribers in Q4, Netflix experienced a surge in its shares during extended trading last week. The company surpassed Wall Street's expectations, showcasing massive growth. As of now, the streaming service giant boasts a record-breaking 260.8 million paid subscribers, with a remarkable increase attributed in part to the implementation of a password-sharing crackdown in the US in 2023.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Mario Tama
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama

The subscriber growth easily tops the 8.76 million paid memberships the company reported in the third quarter of 2023. The earnings in the last quarter were $2.11 per share vs. $2.22 per share expected by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv. The revenue, on the other hand, was $8.83 billion, and the total memberships were around 260.8 million, as per CNBC.

Moreover, the net income of the company in the fourth quarter was $8.83 billion, which was up from $7.85 billion in the year-ago quarter. As Netflix focuses on improving profitability, the company has raised its full-year operating margin forecast for 2024 to 24%, up from the previously stated range of 22% to 23%. This adjustment is due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar and a stronger-than-expected performance in the fourth quarter.

Additionally, Netflix anticipates earnings per share of $4.49 for the first fiscal quarter of 2024, surpassing Wall Street's projection of $4.10. While competitors in the streaming industry grapple with achieving profitability and reducing content spending, Netflix is committed to investing in an expanded content slate. However, the company clarified in a shareholder letter that such investments will not involve acquiring traditional entertainment companies or linear assets.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio

Netflix anticipates further industry consolidation, particularly among companies with large and declining linear networks. Despite this, the company is not interested in acquiring linear assets and does not believe that additional mergers and acquisitions among traditional entertainment companies will significantly alter the competitive market.

Netflix remains open to partnerships with content creators, who traditionally operate in the linear space. Furthermore, the streaming platform announced it would begin streaming WWE Raw next year, marking its most significant venture into live entertainment. The company acknowledges ongoing competition and emphasizes the importance of enhancing its entertainment offering. 


Netflix is in the process of transitioning from prioritizing subscriber growth to focusing on profit. Strategies such as price increases, password crackdowns, and the introduction of ad-supported tiers are being employed to boost revenue. The advertising-based plan is showing promising growth, with more than 23 million global monthly active users reported, up from the 15 million reported in November.

While ads are not expected to be the primary revenue driver in 2024, Netflix aims to scale this aspect of its business. The company plans to enhance its ad tier's attractiveness to advertisers by expanding sales teams and ad operations to better cater to brands' needs.

"We’re focused on the additional work that we can do in that space," said Greg Peters, co-CEO of Netflix, during the company’s earnings call. He also said that they are planning to focus on the long-term revenue potential here. "We’re very optimistic about it. It’s a huge opportunity," he added. Netflix remains optimistic about the long-term revenue potential of its advertising efforts, viewing it as a lucrative opportunity.