NetFlix (NFLX) Earnings: Consumer Spending Still Alive, Shares Jump

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NetFlix (NFLX) benefited from two trends. The first is that consumers don’t have money. The other is that they need entertainment even when the world around them is awful.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $359.6 million, a 19% increase over the same period last year.

Net income for the quarter was $22.7 million, or $0.38 per diluted share compared to net income of $15.7 million, or $0.23 per diluted share in Q4 last year.

The demand for the NetFlix service was impressive. Netflix ended the fourth quarter of 2008 with approximately 9,390,000 total subscribers,  26% year-over-year growth from the fourth quarter of 2007 and 8% sequential growth from the end of the third quarter of 2008.

NetFlix said it expected revenue of $387 million to $393 million in this quarter and $1.58 billion to $1.64 billion for the full year.

The market was impressed. The stock was up almost 7% after hours to $32.20. Before the rise from earnings, the shares were already up 40% over the last year.

Douglas A. McIntyre.