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NETFLIX SUBSCRIPTIONS JUMP, DRIVING GROWTH

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Netflix shares surged in after-hours trading after its latest earnings report showed a jump in subscribers.

The video-streaming company on Monday reported fourth-quarter profit of $185.5 million, or 41 cents per share, matching Wall Street forecasts. Netflix’s revenue of $3.29 billion for the period analyst topped expectations of $3.28 billion in revenue.

For the current quarter ending in April, Netflix said it expects revenue in the range of $3.69 billion.

Netflix shares jumped $19.72, or 8.7 percent, after the close of trade to $247.20, a record high. The stock has risen more than 70 percent over the last 12 months.

The service now has more than 117 million worldwide subscribers, and topped analyst estimates by adding 8.3 million customers during the final three months of last year.

Netflix raised prices in October of 2017, saying its new rate was justified by recent service improvements, such as a feature that allows people to download shows onto phones or other devices to watch them offline.

But some analysts were concerned as Netflix subscribers have rebelled against price increases in the past, most notably in 2011 when the company stopped bundling its streaming service with its DVD-by-mail service, resulting in price increases of as much as 60 percent for customers who wanted both plans.

Netflix lost 600,000 subscribers and its stock price plummeted by 80 percent in the subsequent backlash. The company rebounded strongly, though, propelling its stock from a split-adjusted low of $7.54 in 2012 (it’s now trading above $200.)

And Netflix blamed a temporary slowdown in subscriber growth in 2016 on the lifting of its price freeze on long-time customers who decided to drop the service rather than pay slightly more money.