Despite a rocky second half of 2011 that found shares of the video service plummeting and CEO Reed Hastings on the short list of many "Worst CEO of 2011" articles, Netflix came through with the kind of bounce-back quarter that it needed to get Wall Street and couch potatoes believing again.
Sure, DVD-based subscribers continue to leave in droves. Hastings expects that trend to continue until there's just one subscriber left with a copy of Marley & Me. However, Netflix's streaming accounts -- both domestically and internationally -- did pop higher sequentially.
Netflix now has a record 26.2 million customers worldwide. It was easy to laugh at Netflix during its incessant fumbling last year. Now that the shares have soared 67% this month through Thursday's close -- making it the hottest component of the S&P 500 in 2012 -- Hastings is the one getting the last laugh.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
is back to blowing past the prognosticators. The world's most valuable tech company had a monster quarter. When you sell 37 million iPhones, you don't need to ask Siri -- the iPhone 4S voice-recognition assistant -- what will happen to the stock. (Nasdaq: AAPL)
- Howard Stern revealed this week that there's a "99.9%" chance that he will leave radio after his contract with Sirius XM Radio
runs out at the end of 2015. (Nasdaq: SIRI)
- Shares of Travelzoo
took a hit after posting weaker-than-expected revenue growth of 23% in its latest quarter. Earnings soared by a better-than-projected 70% for the travel-deals publisher, but that was largely the byproduct of having a much lower effective tax rate. I guess accountants love to travel, too. (Nasdaq: TZOO)
Until next week, I remain,
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The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Travelzoo, Netflix, and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns shares of Netflix and Travelzoo and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.