Netflix's strategy to invest heavily in content
, both original and licensed, continues to pay off. Despite the company's decision to raise the subscription fee
for some of its U.S. customers, the streaming giant added a record 8.3 million subscribers between October 1 and December 31, bringing its total subscriber base to 117.6 million.
Both domestic and international subscriber growth beat Wall Street expectations as well as Netflix's own guidance by quite a distance and the company's growth targets for the first quarter of 2018 suggest a greater sense of optimism than Wall Street had hoped for. Netflix now has members in over 190 countries and its international business contributed positively to the company's bottom line for the first time in 2017, propelling net profit to $559 million, up from $187 million in 2016.
Netflix shares are up almost 10 percent in early trading on Thursday, carrying the company's market capitalization to a record high of $108 billion.