Netflix added 4.88 million subscribers in first quarter of 2015

Video streaming giant Netflix managed to bring in more new subscribers in the first quarter of 2015 than it had expected, thanks to aggressive expansion in new markets.

Shares of the company rose by about 13 percent to record high levels in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

The number of new subscribers rose by 22 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, up to 4.88 million, well ahead of its own prediction of 4.05 million.

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Netflix gained 2.3 million new customers in the U.S., better than what it had expected, of only 1.8 million. This increase was due to acquiring and retaining more members than forecast. The total number of US subscribers rose above 40 million for the first time.

The company also managed to bring in 2.6 million customers from its international markets.

These gains ramped up the number of total subscribers to 62.27 million.

“In this particular quarter, we had some amazing content,” CEO Reed Hastings said. “All of that compounded to push us forward.”

Its subscribers collectively watched over 10 billion hours of video in the first quarter. This means that, on average, Netflix subscribers are streaming almost two hours of video every day.

Netflix financial performance in first quarter

Revenue surged to $1.57 billion from $1.27 billion the previous year.

First quarter earnings were hit by increased spending on expanding in new markets. The company posted net income of $23.7 million (38 cents per share).

The company earned 77 cents per share excluding items.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts expected profit of 69 cents per share on revenue of $1.57 billion.

In the second quarter Netflix hopes to add 600,000 new subscribers in the US and 1.9 million internationally.

Netflix launched its service in Australia and New Zealand in the first quarter and expects to launch in Japan later this year.