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What: Shares of streaming and through-the-mail video service Netflix
So what: Netflix actually reported better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter. Per-share profit of $1.26 was up 58% from a year ago and leapt over the $1.11 that Wall Street was looking for. Revenue gained 52% but was slightly short of expectations. Investors, however, were having none of the second-quarter results as they focused squarely on Netflix's third-quarter forecast. The company's recent decision to hike prices is expected to create some significant customer churn in the upcoming quarter and will lead to much lower-than-expected growth rates.
Now what: What can I really say? Netflix's stock is trading at 58 times previous 2011 earnings estimates -- estimates that could now be lowered in light of the softer-than-expected third quarter. The move to raise prices was a bold and potentially dicey one, and we'll see in the coming quarters whether it pays off and Netflix is able to have its customers and eat them too (or at least charge them more). If, however, customers continue to balk at the higher prices, we could see a mass exodus from Netflix's stock as the growth crowd starts to worry that the halcyon days are over for Netflix's stock.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.