Netflix loses 810,000 subscribers; stock plunges

October 24, 2011

Netflix has had a tough few months, and it’s been taking its toll on the video rental company. In its third-quarter earnings report Monday, the company reported that it’s lost 810,000 subscribers in the United States in the past three months.

Many were expecting the company to post subscriber losses after fumbling how it handled its price changes and on-again, off-again decision to spin off its DVD-by-mail business. In an interview with the New York Times, Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings said the company simply moved too quickly and didn’t completely understand how its customers felt about Netflix.

The company’s stock fell over 26 percent in after-hours trading ahead of its 6 p.m. earnings call. Its stock has fallen from a high of over $300 per share in July to $87.48 as of about 5:45 p.m. Monday.

In a statement released to stockholders, Hastings said that the “cancellation wave” has slowed in recent weeks and that the company thinks that the growth of streaming video will keep the company “well-positioned” in the future.

Related stories:

Netflix’s Hastings explains the Qwikster U-turn

Netflix, DreamWorks sign a deal

Netflix abandons separate DVD, online plans

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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