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Netflix Advances Most Since January as Viewing Exceeds Cable

Last month, Netflix said it is testing a redesign of its website that separates movie viewing options from its growing television catalog. Photographer: PRNewsFoto/Netflix, Inc.
Last month, Netflix said it is testing a redesign of its website that separates movie viewing options from its growing television catalog. Photographer: PRNewsFoto/Netflix, Inc.

July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the largest video-subscription service, rose for a second day, gaining the most since January after an analyst said the company’s online audience exceeds cable and TV networks.

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, soared 13 percent to $81.72 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Jan. 26. The shares advanced 6.2 percent on July 3, erasing a decline for the year and are now up 18 percent in 2012.

The Los Gatos, California-based company’s estimated 24 million domestic subscribers probably watched an average of 40 hours of programming online last month, analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research wrote in a July 3 report. He based his estimate on a posting by Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings.

“Among households with Netflix, Netflix would have been the No. 1 watched network overall, including broadcast and cable,” Greenfield wrote.

Netflix has been acquiring exclusive content to increase its offerings in the face of competition from Amazon.com Inc., Hulu LLC and other streaming services.

Hastings posted the viewing total in a note on his Facebook page praising Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, saying new programs will drive the totals higher.

“When ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Arrested Development’ debut, we’ll blow these records away,” Hastings wrote.

Last month, Netflix said it is testing a redesign of its website that separates movie viewing options from its growing television catalog.

By splitting off films from television shows, and offering subcategories of each, the new look may improve viewers’ ability to find programs in specific genres. The company hasn’t decided yet whether to implement the design later this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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