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Netflix posts slight loss, shares drop

Netflix released its Q1 2012 financials today, revealing a slight loss of $5 million for the quarter. The company posted a revenue of $870 million for the quarter (resulting in a loss of eight cents per share), representing a small decrease from Netflix's Q4 2011 revenue of $876 million.

The company's letter to investors, which can be viewed here, also revealed that the company has added three million new subscribers to its streaming service, adding to its industry-leading total, now at 26 million subscribers. Additionally, per-member viewing hours were at record levels for a quarter, although these numbers were not specifically given in the letter. Netflix spent a large portion of the letter describing the competitive landscape, as competitive threats have emerged from Hulu, Amazon, HBO and Comcast (the letter specifically listed the threats of streaming programs available on the Xbox 360). The company also saw another decline in its disc-based service, losing 1.08 million subscribers (for a total of 10.09m current disc-based subscribers), although this number was better than company expectations.

A similar loss is also expected for Q2 2012, with the company predicting a net loss in the range of $6 to $8 million. Netflix downplayed the expected loss, saying the profits of its domestic business are being used to better position the company in the international marketplace, which the company believes will allow it to license global content rights at more economical rates.

Reaction to the company's quarterly financials on Wall Street has been negative, as the company has seen its stock plummet roughly 16% in after-hours trading. The company's stock ended regular trading hours at $101.84, but after-hours trading is currently at $85.18.

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