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Netflix Stock Tumbles 35%

Aggressive expansion, subscribers' departure add to woes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2011 9:56 AM CDT

(Newser) Amazon’s plunging profits may have Jeff Bezos worried, but he can take solace in the misery of a competitor: Netflix stock dropped a whopping 35% to $77.37 yesterday following some bleak announcements the day before. On Monday, the company said its US subscribers had plummeted and that it expected several quarters of losses next year as its service expands into the UK and Ireland. The company, which last month expanded into 43 Latin American and Caribbean countries, has been in turmoil since it announced a price hike this summer.

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Yesterday’s stock drop followed weeks of sinking share prices; the company’s market capitalization is now a quarter of what it was four months ago, the Wall Street Journal notes, while shares have fallen 75% overall from this year’s peak of $304.79, USA Today reports. The decline has fueled controversy over whether it’s worthwhile for Internet firms to seek an early grip on new markets. “Our basic view is that there's such a big opportunity, that as broadband grows that it's smart in the long term to make investments in the UK and Ireland today,” says CEO Reed Hastings. But he plans “a pause” on such expansion “until we get back to global profitability.” Click here for the current stock price. (Read more Netflix stories.)

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