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Netflix 4Q 2011 earnings better than expected

Netflix had some good news to report today. The streaming TV show and movie company reported its financial numbers for the fourth quarter of 2011 with revenue numbers of $876 million, 47 percent higher than the same period a year ago. Net income came in at $40.7 million, which is slightly lower than the $47.1 million Netflix made at the same time a year ago.

More importantly, Netflix is once again gaining in subscribers after losing 800,000 members in the US in the last quarter. While the number of its DVD mail order rental subscribers went down by 2.7 million in the fourth quarter, the company gained 220,000 US streaming subscribers. It also added 1.86 million streaming members from its new territories in Latin America. Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland in early January, outside its fourth quarter 2011 financial reporting timeline.

Shares of Netflix's stock went soaring in after hours trading today on the earnings news, going as high as 15 percent.

In their letter to shareholders, Netflix executives once again confirmed that their streaming movie and TV show agreement with the Starz cable TV network would end on February 29. It added:

While our 2012 domestic streaming content commitments are already substantially in place, that doesn’t mean our offering will be static in the coming months. The relationships we’ve established with all major producers of film and TV in the U.S., including multiple output arrangements, ensure a steady flow of new titles to the service.

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