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Netflix Unexpectedly Posts Profit, After Surge in Streaming Customers Netflix, quarterly earnings, online streaming, share prices, technology

Netflix surprised investors by reporting a fourth-quarter profit, instead of the loss expected by many analysts, after seeing a surge in customers signing up for online streaming, reports The New York Times.

The company gained 2.05 million new streaming customers in the U.S., giving it 27.15 million total customers who buy its online service, the story says.

That helped Netflix report net income of $7.9 million.

"The results reflected just how far Netflix has come since the turbulence of mid-2011, when its botched execution of a new pricing plan for its services -- streaming and DVDs by mail -- resulted in an online flogging by angry customers," the story notes. "Investors battered its stock price, sending it from a high of around $300 in 2011 to as low as $53 last year."

Netflix shares soared in after-hours trading Wednesday, rising more than 35%.

"Netflix’s fourth-quarter success was a convenient reminder to the entertainment and technology industries that consumers increasingly want on-demand access to television shows and movies," the piece adds.