What Recession? Netflix Makes Huge Gains

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Maybe all the unemployed people are staying in and watching movies.

Netflix says its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 45 percent and surpassed analysts' estimates.

The recession is making Netflix's online DVD rental service more enticing to budget-conscious consumers looking for home entertainment.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company ended 2008 with 9.4 million subscribers, a gain of 718,000 customers from the end of September, according to numbers released Monday.

Propelled by the robust growth, Netflix earned nearly $23 million, or 38 cents per share, in the three months ending in December. Analysts, on average, had projected earnings of 34 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue in the period climbed 19 percent to $360 million.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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