The value of Netflix shares dropped 10% on Thursday, one day after the streaming service reported its first drop in global growth.
Shares of the company closed at $325.21, one day after Netflix reported its second quarter earnings, revealing the company grew subscriptions by only about half of what it had forecast.
Netflix registered 2.7 million new paid memberships globally in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 5.5 million new subscriptions in the second quarter of 2018, the company said. The company had originally forecast 5 million new subscriptions in the second quarter.
"Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases," the company said in a letter to investors. "We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2."
The company said that the first quarter registered such a large bump in subscriptions -- 9.6 million -- that it ate into second quarter numbers and "there may have been more pull-forward effect than we realized," the letter read. "In prior quarters with over-forecasts, we’ve found that the underlying long-term growth was not affected and staying focused on the fundamentals of our business served us well."
Media research firm MoffettNathanson kept a neutral rating on the company, noting that the company showed its first sequential decline in U.S. subscribers since 2011.
"The acknowledgement that the price increase hurt subscriber growth in the quarter also brings into question Netflix’s ultimate pricing power," according to MoffettNathanson's research note. "As more studios pull content from Netflix, the platform moves from being a digital video store in the cloud with unlimited versions of all your favorite shows to a premium cable network on steroids."
The slowed growth comes ahead of the launch of several other streaming services later this year that look to challenge Netflix's dominance in the cultural conversation. Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, and Apple are all gearing up to launch their own streaming services.
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