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Netflix: Subscribers up, original content investment to double

Netflix shares jumped more than 10 percent after the company delivered an outlook that blew past forecasts and said it plans to double its investment in original content.

In a letter to shareholders, the movie-streaming service said it added 1.29 million domestic subscribers during the third quarter and 1.44 million in international subscribers, bringing its total to more than 40 million members, up from 30 million a year ago.

The company also said it expects to double its investment in original content in 2014.

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. 

Netflix says it plans to double its investment in original programming, such as "House of Cards," which won an Emmy for best director this year after debuting on the subscription streaming service in February.
Netflix says it plans to double its investment in original programming, such as "House of Cards," which won an Emmy for best director this year after debuting on the subscription streaming service in February. Melinda Sue Gordon

Next year, Netflix plans a second season of "House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black," "Derek and Hemlock Grove" and a new project from the Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated creators of "Damages." The company also plans several new animated series from DreamWorks, the company said in the letter.

Net income in the third quarter ballooned more than fourfold to $31.8 million, or 52 cents a share, from $7.7 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. 

Revenue increased 22 percent to $1.11 billion from $905 million a year ago.

Analysts had expected Netflix to report earnings of 49 cents a share on $1.1 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

For the fourth quarter, Netflix expects earnings between 47 cents and 73 cents a share vs. the 46 cents a share analysts currently expect.