Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) stock is up 6.45% in after-hours trading today (Monday) after the company beat Wall Street estimates for Q1 2014 earnings after the closing bell.
Netflix earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.86 per share on sales of $1.27 billion. Consensus estimates had projected revenue of $1.27 billion, but EPS $0.03 lower at $0.83, according to Thomson Reuters.
The online streaming company said it will increase membership prices for new subscribers by $1 to $2 later this quarter and that current Netflix members would stay at the existing fee for "a generous time period."
"These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience," Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells wrote in a letter to shareholders today.
Despite the beat, tough comparisons to last year continue to cast doubts on the company's future growth.
Netflix stock was one of the biggest winners of 2013, gaining more than 312% for the year. It earned the online streaming company the title of last year's best-performing stock in the S&P 500.
But the gains have not been repeated in 2014. NFLX stock has since pulled back, dropping more than 10% in January.
Still, that doesn't mean investors should run from NFLX stock. Since this time last year, the company has notched a 113% gain – and Money Morning's Defense & Tech Specialist Michael Robinson sees Netflix as a "game changer."
Here's the key to today's earnings – and why Netflix stock will continue to make gains in 2014…
This Number Points to NFLX Stock Gains
The key number investors should watch to evaluate Netflix's health is subscriber growth. That figure tells investors how well the company is dealing with its online streaming competitors. It's also indicative of Netflix's success in breaking into international markets and across various platforms like mobile.
Using that metric, here's how NFLX is doing…