April 25, 2011, 5:45 PM

Q1 web sales rise 46% for Netflix

The number of paid Netflix subscribers grew 57.4% to 21.4 million.

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When it comes to putting up good financials, Netflix Inc.picked up where it left off last year.

For the first quarter ended March 31, Netflix, No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recorded:

  • Growth in sales of 45.5% to $718.6 million from $493.7 million in the first quarter of 2010.
  • Net income grew 86.4% year over year to $60.2 million from $32.3 million.
  • The number of paid subscribers grew 57.4% to 21.4 million from 13.6 million in the first quarter of 2010.

“This growth underscores the value of our increased spending on an ever broader selection of TV shows and movies, our constantly improving personalization technology and the Netflix brand,” says CEO Reed Hastings.

 Netflix spent the first quarter signing more digital content deals. In February, Netflix began offering online streaming of classic TV shows from CBS Corp. under a non-exclusive two-year deal. Under terms of the contract, Netflix.com will offer instant streaming of CBS-owned content, including full seasons of such sitcoms as “Frasier,” “Family Ties” and “Cheers,” and episodes of other classics including “Star Trek,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” The amount that Netflix will pay CBS for that the content was not released, though CBS indicated the amount was significant.

“Our agreement with CBS is particularly notable, as Netflix is now the online premium subscription service that offers shows from all four broadcast networks,” says Hastings.

For the second quarter, Netflix expects sales to range from $762 million to $778 million and net income to be from $50 million to $62 million.

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