Things just got a little more interesting at Netflix (NFLX 3.74%). Beyond putting out blowout quarterly results as revenue, subscriber count, and profitability far exceeded expectations, the leading video service is now hinting at increasing prices.
Claiming that it's in no rush to implement such a change, Netflix is already alerting members that any shifts in pricing will offer them generous grandfathering terms as existing subscribers. The move also would not be without precedent, since it just increased its basic rate in Ireland earlier this month.
This is still a pretty big deal, especially since its content licensing deals are done at flat rates. In other words, most of the increase would float right down to the pre-tax profit line. Well done, Netflix.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Wal-Mart (WMT 0.62%) announced layoffs at its Sam's Club division, slashing roughly 2,300 jobs from its warehouse club. The discount department store chain had a challenging year, but the pink slips are still an unwelcome surprise.
- Baidu (BIDU 0.06%) and many of its peers moved lower after an SEC administrative law judge moved to ban the Chinese units of the Big Four accounting firms for not being more forthright about their Chinese audits. The firms claim that it would violate China law, and they're appealing the six-month ban. For now it just creates more uncertainty for investors in Chinese growth stocks.
- Carl Icahn was busy this week. He beefed up his investment in Apple (AAPL 0.19%) by $500 million, continuing to lobby for the consumer tech giant to be more aggressive in returning money to its stakeholders. He also began to rattle his activist tendencies at eBay (EBAY -0.62%). Icahn feels that the online marketplace leader should spin off PayPal in a move to increase shareholder value.