DVD mail order co.'s stock best performer in showbiz

NEW YORK — Shares of Netflix, the little company that could, surged more than 18% Thursday after it announced strong financial results and a two-for-one stock split.

The shares closed at $77 after touching a 52-week high of $78.48. They’re up from about $11 a year ago, making the DVD mail order company by far the best performer in the showbiz and online space.

Netflix reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings after the market closed Wednesday. As reported, the company swung to a quarterly profit of $2.3 million from a loss of about the same amount the previous year. Revenue surged to $81 million from $45 million. Subscribers jumped 74% year-on-year to 1.487 million, and the company anticipates ending the current quarter with 1.75 million-1.82 million subs.

Netflix also announced a two-for-one stock split payable on Feb. 11 to shareholders of record as of Feb 2. A split — not uncommon among high-flying stocks — doubles the number of shares outstanding.

Netflix charges subs about $20 a month to order DVDs from a library of more than 15,000 titles. Discs are sent by regular mail and there are no late fees.

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