New York – Netflix, which was founded in 1997 as a rental company that sent you DVDs in the mail. Crossed a major milestone on Tuesday, further solidifying itself as one of the most influential companies in Hollywood.
The streaming service said it now has more than 200 million subscribers globally. Followinf 8.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2020, beating its own expectations.
Netflix’s fourth quarter profit in 2020 was $542 million, down from $587 million in the year-earlier quarter. Its revenue jumped 21%, to $6.6 billion. The company’s stock jumped as much as 12% in after-hours trading following the company’s earnings.
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year with extraordinary loss for so many families, new restrictions that none of us have ever had to live with before and great uncertainty,” the company said on Tuesday. “We’re enormously grateful that in these uniquely challenging times we’ve been able to provide our members around the world with a source of escape, connection and joy while continuing to build our business.”
For the full year 2021, we currently anticipate free cash flow will be around break even,” the company said. “We believe we no longer have a need to raise external financing for our day-to-day operations”. This is good news for investors who have worried about the company’s debt. Also the content spending and overall growth going forward.
Netflix added that as it generates excess cash, it intends to “maintain $10 billion to $15 billion in gross debt” but will “explore returning cash to shareholders through ongoing stock buybacks” as it’s done in prior years.