Netflix Plunges On Revenue Miss, Ugly Guidance, Deteriorating Fundamentals

Tyler Durden's picture

At last check Netflix' stock was down about 10% following an earnings report that was about as ugly as they get. While the company beat Q2EPS consensus of $1.12, coming with a number of $1.26, it missed revenue estimates of $790.5 MM at $789 MM. What's worse, it forecasted Q3 EPS of $0.72-$1.07, far below the $1.23 consensus, while it sees revenues of $780-$805 MM on consensus of $842 MM. And digging deeper, the rot was pervasive in virtually every line item. But don't worry: according to NFLX, it is now bearing the Pirate Bay scourge. Not. But at least Jim Cramer loves it.

Other ugliness:

  • The company anticipates its current Qtr end subscribers of 24.6 million (up from 22.8 million) to barely grow to a range of 24.6 to 25.4 million
  • Gross profit declined to 37.9% from 39.0% sequentially, and from 39.4% Q/Q
  • The domestic subscriber acquisition cost jumped from $14.38 to $15.09
  • Average monthly revenue per subscriber dropped to $11.49 - the lowest in the past 3 years, and certainly the lowest under the current business model
  • The company had 1.3 million free domestic subscribers, and 110K foreign subs
  • Of the company's $86 million in cash from operations, $40 million came from working capital: a traditional "source" of cash for the company
  • Take away this traditional, but non-recurring working capital fudge and instead of adding $25 million in cash, the company would have burned through $15 million in cash in Q2.

And much more in the linked excel file. The company's full presentation can be found here, which has one notable item: the company is actually boasting that it is beating Bit Torrent piracy:

Netflix beating Bit Torrent piracy


In May, analysts at Sandvine published a report on global broadband trends suggesting that people are watching and downloading more video over the Internet than ever before. Given the popularity of our streaming service and the growth we’ve experienced in streaming subscribers and hours viewed, we were not surprised by this finding. What did pleasantly surprise us was how we compared to other providers of Internet video. Our low cost, high quality, on demand streaming service has become so good that the largest percentage of the Internet’s traffic is for paid content instead of illegal free peer-to-peer sites like Bit Torrent. Over coming quarters we’ll see if we can recreate this “beat piracy” feat outside of North America.

Translation: Pirate Bay is starting to eat Netflix' lunch. Yet another translation: time to IPO Piratebay and pair trade by hedging with NFLX.

As for those expecting an immediate boost to earning courtesy of the recent price spike in services, dont hold your breath:

We didn’t change the pricing for our streaming only subscribers, and those members will get to enjoy more and better streaming content going forward. Subscribers who only want DVDs from us are happy with the introduction of DVD only plans, because they can pay $7.99 instead of $9.99, a 20% savings. It is expected and unfortunate that our DVD subscribers who also use streaming don’t like our price change, which can be as much as a 60% increase for them from $9.99 to $15.98, when it goes into effect for each subscriber upon their renewal date in September.


Some subscribers will cancel Netflix or downgrade their Netflix plans. We expect most to stay with us because each of our $7.99 plans is an incredible value. We hate making our subscribers upset with us, but we feel like we provide a fantastic service and we’re working hard to further improve the quality and range of our streaming content in Q4 and beyond.


In Q3 we will see only the negative impact of the pricing change, given that the announcement was early in the quarter and that the increases won’t take effect until late in the quarter (September 15th on average). We expect domestic net additions in Q3 to be lower than the previous year Q3, and because of the timing of the price change, revenues will only grow slightly on a sequential basis.

Net result: the chart below.

And updated:

At least Reed Hasting's weekly automated 5,000 shares dump plan is helping restore much needed confidence in the long-term prospects. Oh wait...

And another way to see it:

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ihedgemyhedges's picture

Oh Robo, where art thou Robo?

the mad hatter's picture

Tyler, you forgot about competition from Amazon's VOD for Prime subscribers

Sudden Debt's picture


     ....dried bush rolling by in the wind...

while the standoff song of "the good, the bad and the ugly" plays...

msamour's picture

That would be tumble weed my friend if you want your statement to have the impact you were hoping for. There fixed it for ya. ;)

StychoKiller's picture

"Easy as cake!"  Darn bloody fureigners, don't know englich very well!

jkruffin's picture

The price increases they imposed are going to kill their growth and retention numbers.  They just signed their own death warrant.

RacerX's picture

That's what I think. I cancelled the online svc entirely after receiving the price increase notice.

Greedy f-ers.

Rainman's picture

Ah yes, commoners must express their revulsion through any and all means. Cinema is mostly shit now, anyway.

Freddie's picture


99% of movies are total shit.  The only thing interesting is next summer's Promethus or Ridley Scott's Alien preequel (roughly). 

He wanted a budget big enough to bail out Greece or at least most of Ireland.

foofoojin's picture

And reduce the bandwith and infrastucture cost. In a weird way this is how they slow the rate of growth till the networks in the world improve.

TruthInSunshine's picture

This is a RoboFader "convict(ion) buy", so BTFD, bitchez!

Tense INDIAN's picture

Tomorrow is RATE HIKE DAY ......just took a look at BANK NIFTY index...and the VIX...::

b-rad-is-rad's picture

Covered my shorts at 257. Easy money.

jkruffin's picture

Who needs Netflix anyway? You can get any movie or TV show you want for free these days, commercial free. We don't even need Sirius radio anymore.

Long-John-Silver's picture

We don't even need Sirius radio anymore

That's a BS statement. Try telling a truck driver he doesn’t need his XM/Sirius radio anymore.

Freddie's picture

Just like taking a trucker's meth away.

Hansel's picture

I kinda like the streaming service.  $8 a month is much cheaper than cable.  I've watched a bunch of foreign films I never would have known existed, e.g. Ip Man, The Man From Nowhere.  Some older movies are good too.  Less hassle than pirating, IMO.

MacchuPicchu's picture


If I actually paid for my Time Warner cable subscription I would have cancelled it a long time ago in favor of Netflix, which is still an outstanding value. People need to calm down and stop ranting about 'greedy f-ckers'. Eight bucks for unlimited streaming is pretty sweet even if their catalog is not quite all-encompassing. 

Abitdodgie's picture

It is not exactly watch on demand , have you ever done a serch for a movie title and you can NEVER watch it you have to add to list, you have to put a same type film in and hope it pulls up the film you were really looking for so you can watch it instantly. Why does spell check never work I am dislecsic.  


Eagle Keeper's picture

Since when do fundamentals matter ???

A Man without Qualities's picture

This is why they have been shouting about moving into LatAm, Caribbean and Europe.  For the first two, internet speeds are so slow, it will take a week to download a movie and in most parts of Europe, on demand film is available through numerous sources already.  US equity idiots who buy the likes of Netflix won't understand that data speeds are higher in Europe, and this is a well established market.

As for US, it looks like they've hit peak subscribers, so there's only one way to go from here.. 

Id fight Gandhi's picture

People don't like paying 60% increases... Who'd a thought?

Safe to say another momo done?

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

My rates are dropping by 20%. If you do not do streaming (which stinks anyways due to internet lag), your rates drop. Go Netflix! As for stock price, it's a dud though.

Archimedes's picture

Netflix IMHO has already peaked. CONtrary to what they say they will lose tens of thousands if not  more than 100,000 subscribers from the cost increase alone.

Also eventually service providers are going to jack up bandwitdh usage rates which will cause the streaming business to suffer. Currently Netflix is making money on the backs of the providers. This will change.

Should be a sub $100 stock by Q2 2012


SheepDog-One's picture

Netflix aint all that, Ive had it for 6 months, havent watched a thing on it in the last 3.

StychoKiller's picture

'Bout time!  He's the laziest A.G. the US has ever had!

SheepDog-One's picture

RoboTrader muttering to himself in the corner, 'My Momo!!'


EvlTheCat's picture

One Momo to rule them all,
One Momo to find them,
One Momo to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.

b-rad-is-rad's picture

NFLX Streaming service fucking sucks anyways.

RobotTrader's picture

No worries, BIDU up 7%, new world record highs.

BRCM up 8%.

That will be enough to sell the phony story about the oft-mentioned "V-Shaped 2nd Half Recovery".....


SheepDog-One's picture

OH theres another momo to jump on the bandwagon and hype! Yipee! You really are something as a rear-view mirror trader Momo.

Sudden Debt's picture

You should apply for a job at CNBC...

ElvisDog's picture

Oh, come on, Sheepdog, Robo is just messing with you.

caerus's picture

suck it reed hastings

dracos_ghost's picture

Fundamentals? Stop making words up Tyler, we all know there is no such thing.

Green Light, Red Light. That's all you need to know about investing nowadays.

virgilcaine's picture

The darlings of the Old Bull (bear Mkt rally of 09-11) dropping like flies.

fuu's picture

People still pay for entertainment?

Sudden Debt's picture

The kids like it.


When I was young, all we needed was 5 gallons of fuel, a lighter and we could entertain ourself for the entire day.

Kids... they lost the sense of fun...

blunderdog's picture

Dude, 5 gallons of fuel these days costs more than a case of beer.

malikai's picture

These days, a few bottles of robitussin or glade seems a better deal.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

I've seen people buy 10 cans of Glade type air freshener at a time.  I figured they were either cleaning a kennel, going to a bean eating contest, or huffing it.  For those interested, the local 99 cents only stores usually have a great deal of it.  People can wash away the bad taste with quarts of 40 proof mouthwash for $1, or for the die hards, 8 ounce bottles of hand sanitzer (95% ethanol) for a buck.

Long-John-Silver's picture

5 gallons of gasoline only cost's 5 junk (90%) Silver dimes.

fuu's picture

You meant liters right?

knukles's picture

Talk about old times and warm fellings.
We used to burn shit all day left and right, vegitable, animal and mineral.  Actually to be more precise, the animal part was a kid dwon the street who we all hated.  But we didn't hurt him.  Well, physically.  Might have scarred his soul for the day.  A little traumatized, but he made it.  Kinda.
Or cans of lighter fluid squirt the shit like a flame thrower.
SD, you're a bloody genius.  Now I have something to relate to my small nephews and neices over dinner tonight. 
Y'all come on back now, ya' hear!