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The 1 Number You Need to Know Ahead of Netflix's Earnings Report

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There's a lot for Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) investors to be thinking about today. A small rally in a down market suggests they're focusing on the positives.

From huge streaming numbers to new data that show consumers are using tablets to access more on-demand programming to a desperate promotion by competitor Hulu Plus, there's budding enthusiasm for what we might hear in today's second-quarter earnings report.

Most investors are going to focus immediately on Netflix's subscriber data. Last year at this time, the streaming specialist added 1.8 million domestic subscribers. Worldwide, Netflix ended the quarter with more than 25 million members, with 22 million of those subscribing to its streaming service.

Much has changed in the past year. (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) has become a more serious competitor while Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) has upped its commitment as a partner. Streaming has also gained in popularity; Netflix ended the first quarter with 26 million streaming members -- up 4 million from last year's Q2 before accounting for the numbers we'll see today.

But if there's one number you shouldn't miss when you download CEO Reed Hastings' letter to shareholders this afternoon, it's international growth.

Netflix is the first mover in overseas streaming -- Amazon Instant Video still does most of its business here in the U.S -- but we're still early in what looks like an outrageous growth story. For instance, last quarter, net overseas subscription additions improved about 4 times year-over-year. I wouldn't be surprised to see similar growth in Q2, and a huge rally in the share price as a result.

Where do you stand? Will Netflix impress this afternoon? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to explain your thinking. You can also check out new Motley Fool research on another company reporting earnings today -- Apple. Inside, our senior technology analyst runs through all of the key opportunities and threats facing the company; must-have information for the informed investor. Click here to learn more.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Netflix at the time of publication. He also had a long-term call position in Netflix. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix,, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple,, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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