Netflix market a new milestone Monday when it closed at $202.68, a number the stock hasn’t seen since before its 2015 stock split, ahead of its Q3 earnings release.
Then came even bigger news.
In Q3, Netflix added 5.3 million subscribers around the world, beating its own estimate by almost a million.
Netflix had told Wall Street that it would add 75,000 new U.S. subscribers, and another 3.65 million worldwide. Instead, U.S. subscribers increased by 850,000, and the company added another 4.45 million internationally.
This was its best third quarter ever in terms of subscriber growth.
Investors have come to expect big numbers from Netflix, and have flocked to it. The company’s stock, overall, has outperformed media behemoths Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warner in 2017 with its total return so far this year around 64%.
Comparatively, Time Warner—which owns HBO, Warner Bros., and DC Comics—has only seen a 6% rise in the same period, and both Disney and 21st Century Fox have seen declines.
Netflix expects to add another 6.3 million subscribers this quarter, bringing its total yearly gains to 22 million new subscribers. This would be a modest fourth quarter compared to last year when the company added a record 7 million subscribers in Q4, though this projection may just mean Netflix is factoring short-term impact from the rate hike it announced recently.
However, the company forecast in January that the second half of this year would be stronger than the first half with a content slate that includes a new season of both Stranger Things and The Crown, David Fincher’s new series Mindhunter, Steven Soderbergh’s Western Godless, and David Ayer’s ambitious sci-fi film Bright, so the fourth quarter may well be another record breaker.
Netflix’s stock began surging last week on the news that the company would be raising its prices for its most popular package in the U.S., but some analysts believe the stock still has plenty of room to grow.
According to FactSet, a consensus of 39 Wall Street analysts puts the stock around $210, but more bullish price targets put the price up to $270.