Entertainment behind the scenes
Netflix Inc <NFLX.O> apparently didn’t get the memo: there’s a recession on.
The online DVD rental company is aiming for “at least” 12 percent net earnings growth in 2009 and will invest any “surplus profit” — terms not heard much on Wall Street these days — in growing its subscriber base and streaming content, Chief Executive Reed Hastings told investors on Monday.
The comments, made amid a storm of bad news from other U.S. media companies, came as the Los Gatos, California company posted a 45 percent rise in quarterly profit that even its own executives weren’t expecting.
“Our October forecast of slowing growth turned out to be wrong,” Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy admitted on a conference call with analysts. “We continue to see strong momentum in our business, quarter to date.”
Heartbreak is looming for the miniscule percentage of Netflix users who use the site’s “Profiles” feature that allows them to share a single account with another user of, shall we say, differing cinematic tastes.
A reported 1-2 percent of Netflix’s 8.2 million subscribers use the feature to maintain separate queues, or lists of movies, on the same account to avoid arguing over what movie to watch next. This is especially important in the case of married couples whose movie tastes differ vastly from “Terminator” for one to “A Passage to India” for the other.