Netflix shares soar as profit quadruples

ENTERTAINMENT
Netflix shares soar as profit quadruples

Netflix’s profit quadrupled in the third quarter as it added a higher-than-expected 1.3 million subscribers to its subscription video-streaming service, sending shares up 10.7 percent in after-hours trading.

Net income for the quarter reached $32 million, up from $8 million a year earlier, Netflix said in its quarterly letter to shareholders. Netflix reported earnings-per-share of 52 cents, beating the average of 49 cents projected by analysts. Revenue rose 22 percent from last year to $1.1 billion.

Total subscribers to the U.S. streaming service, the biggest part of its business, reached 31.1 million. Netflix added 1.4 million customers in international markets, bringing its reach in foreign territories to 9.2 million.

During the quarter, Netflix released critically praised prison drama “Orange is the New Black,” part of its investment in exclusive original programming to keep and attract customers to its $8-a-month movie and TV streaming service.

Its original series slate attracted buzz during the quarter with 14 Emmy nominations and three wins for shows including political thriller “House of Cards.”

Netflix also was added in September as an option on cable set-top boxes to two systems in Europe.

— Reuters

VENTURE CAPITAL
Khosla, Gates put up $100 million for Kior

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm run by Vinod Khosla has pledged to inject an additional $85 million into the cash-starved biofuel maker Kior, and a Bill Gates fund is going to chip in $15 million, too.

Kior, which has fallen far short of its production forecasts this year, said Monday that Khosla and Gates will help finance a second refinery, which will convert wood chips into gasoline and diesel. Kior chief executive Fred Cannon said the company could be cash-flow positive in 2015.

Khosla said in an interview that he will increase his total investment in the company to $125 million and that Gates will invest $15 million.

Kior says it can convert wood chips and agricultural waste into oil products identical to those based on crude oil. Other companies are trying to use similar technology to produce cellulosic ethanol.

A year ago, Kior said it expected to produce 13 million gallons of motor fuel this year, but Cannon said in an interview Sunday that he expects production to total just 1 million to 2 million gallons. A group of investors has filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of misrepresentation.

— Steven Mufson

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