Netflix is rolling in revenue after signing up more people than expected

“La Casa de Papel” is Netflix’s latest hit series.
“La Casa de Papel” is Netflix’s latest hit series.
Image: Netflix
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Twenty years after it launched, people are still signing up for Netflix in droves.

The company crushed analysts’ estimates for subscriber additions—the biggest driver of its stock—once again in the first quarter of 2018. The streaming-video giant signed up 7.41 million new streaming subscribers during the quarter, it announced (pdf), up from 4.95 million a year earlier and well ahead of the 6.6 million analysts surveyed by FactSet forecasted. It now has 125 million members worldwide.

Paying customers rose 25% year over year and made up about 95% of Netflix’s subscriber base (the remainder use the service’s free trial for new members and other offerings). Revenue increased 40%, to $3.7 billion, during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period. It was the fastest pace of growth in the company’s streaming history. Earnings were also up 60%.

People flocked to the service in part for shows like Altered Carbon, Queer Eye, and The End of the F***ing World, as well as returning series like Jessica Jones and Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix said. The biggest boost was in international subscribers, who Netflix is designing more original content for. It released the Spanish-language heist drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist, in English) during the period, and said it became the most watched non-English original series on the platform. The company is also doing more marketing around these originals and experimenting with how to promote them in different parts of the world.

Netflix shares were trading as high as $330 after hours, a 7% lift from Monday’s closing price.