Netflix adds more subscribers than expected, shares hit record

Netflix Inc added more subscribers than expected around the world in the third quarter and projected growth in line with Wall Street forecasts, saying it had a head start on rivals as internet television explodes globally.

For the third quarter, Netflix added 5.3 million subscribers in all its markets, compared with Wall Street’s target of 4.5 million, according to FactSet. Netflix forecast 6.3 million additions for the current quarter, just above analysts’ average estimate of 6.25 million, which would bring its global customer base to nearly 115.6 million.

The company known for original TV shows such as “House of Cards” is spending heavily to produce and acquire content as it races to dominate streaming television in international markets, which now account for the majority of its subscriber growth.

In its quarterly letter to shareholders, Netflix said it would boost its content budget to between $7 billion and $8 billion in 2018.

The company faces increasing competition from streaming services such as Amazon.com’s Prime Video, plus moves by traditional media companies. Walt Disney Co decided to yank its first-run movies from Netflix in the United States starting in 2019, and to launch its own online offering.

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