Netflix NFLX has enhanced its focus on original content with an aim to increase subscribers, which missed management’s expectations in second-quarter 2018 earnings. Netflix added 5.2 million subscribers in the quarter, much less than the expected 6.2 million.

Most recently, the company announced that the lead actor of Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, Paul Rudd will be featuring in one of its original content shows. The eight-episode comedy series will be called Living With Yourself and will have Rudd playing a double role.

The show revolves around “a man struggling with his life who undergoes a novel treatment to become a better person, and finds he’s been replaced by a new and improved version.” With eminent names like Timothy Greenberg, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris among others associated with the project, the show is expected to attract subscribers.

Other Gambits to Win Market Share

Apart from just sticking to visual treats, Netflix is also exploring the audio streaming market. Last month, the company announced its foray into audio streaming with a partnership with Sirius XM SIRI.

Reportedly, SiriusXM will play a 24-hour commercial free comedy channel unofficially named Netflix Is a Joke. The channel, which is expected to be available by January 2019, will include Netflix’s vast collection of current and original comedy content.

Additionally, the hugely successful Springsteen On Broadway musical will be available for small screens via Netflix from Dec 15. The company also announced the first shows and series based on stories that it acquired through the Millarworld acquisition last year.

The company has also tweaked navigation for those accessing the service on their TV screens. The improved navigation is expected to be helpful for users as the content on the platform has increased manifold in the last few years.

Financial Performance

Though the company could not meet subscriber addition expectation in the second quarter, earnings of 85 cents per share were much better than 15 cents reported in the year-ago quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a nickel.

The results included $85 million of non-cash unrealized gain from foreign exchange remeasurement on the company’s Eurobond.

Moreover, revenues of $3.91 billion surged 40.1% year over year, driven by solid streaming revenues that jumped 42.8% from the year-ago quarter. However, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.94 billion.

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Netflix, Inc. Quote

The slightly dismal top-line performance can be attributed to rising competition in the industry from players like Alphabet’s GOOGL YouTube, Hulu and HBO, which took a toll on subscriber addition during the quarter.

With fresh rumors suggesting that Walmart’s WMT Vudu entertainment division is looking to expand its presence in the streaming market, the risks are anticipated to increase.

Nevertheless, Netflix’s original content offerings, through its regular partnerships, diversifications and contracts with popular actors, are expected to help it maintain its leading position in the video streaming market at least in the near to mid-term.

Netflix currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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