Despite some Wall Street trepidation, Netflix is flying as high as ever. In the company’s Q4 2013 earnings report, CEO Reed Hastings noted a $48.4 million net quarterly income as well as a four million subscriber jump, bring Netflix’s worldwide total up to 44 million customers.
Both of Netflix’s big numbers exceeded analyst expectations, causing the company’s stock price to jump up 17%. The 2.3 million US subscribers who joined Netflix over the last quarter is also right in line with the company’s previous prediction, which forecasted 2.5 million new users over the same period. For a period that featured a relative dearth of original Netflix content, the company’s execs must be pleased with the steady growth.
Despite a clean bill of health, Netflix has plenty of potential issues to worry about. Most importantly, the recent federal decision to strike down the doctrine of net neutrality could hurt the site and its massive downstream bandwidth usage, though Hastings pledged to “vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open Internet they are paying their ISP to deliver.”
Hastings also teased a few potential new tiers for Netflix users, including a lower-quality option that would cost one dollar fewer each month. This may not seem like a good deal for most users, though as Hastings explained, “In going from 33 million members to more than twice that, every bit of savings [matters].”
Hastings projects another four million worldwide users will join Netflix in Q1 2014. With the new season of House of Cards drawing interest as the company’s services continuing to expand, it seems like a fair estimate.