Netflix Rises as Split Plan Gains, Marriott Accord Unveiled

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Netflix Inc. rose after investors approved a proposal that paves the way for a stock split, and a deal was announced offering the video service in Marriott Hotels.

Netflix, the largest online subscription video service, rose 3.7 percent to a record close of $671.10 in New York. The stock, the top 2015 gainer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, has almost doubled this year, giving the Los Gatos, California-based company a market value exceeding $40 billion.

The accord with Marriott International Inc. extends a test, first reported by Bloomberg News in January, to offer the service in a handful of hotels. The agreement highlights the way more consumers are watching entertainment programs on the go through streaming services and websites such as Netflix and Google Inc.’s YouTube. Marriott said it plans to expand the Netflix offering to 100 of its properties by the end of the year and almost all of its 300 U.S. hotels by the end of 2016.

“Because consumers are choosing to take their streaming content with them when they travel, Marriott Hotels is making the industry’s first rollout of Netflix a priority,” Matthew Carroll, Marriott Hotels’ vice president of brand management, said Wednesday in a statement.

Guests staying at select Marriott Hotels will be able to subscribe to Netflix or sign into their existing accounts using the Netflix app on the hotel’s Internet-connected guest room televisions, according to the statement.

Share Proposal

At Tuesday’s meeting, Netflix investors supported a proposal to boost the authorized shares outstanding to about 5 billion from the 170 million authorized now, including preferred stock. The approval sets the stage for a stock split.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in April that he planned to recommend a stock split to the board and that a lower price would make the stock more accessible. Netflix said in a filing about that time that it didn’t have any plans to issue shares for mergers or to raise money.

Shareholders also backed a nonbinding proxy-access proposal by New York City municipal pension funds designed to give investors more ability to nominate directors.

The proposal, opposed by the company, would give stockholders with 3 percent or more of the stock for three continuous years the ability to nominate as much as 25 percent of the board.

Investors elected three new members to the company’s board: Richard Barton, executive chairman of Zillow Group Inc.; Brad Smith, Microsoft Inc.’s general counsel; and Anne Sweeney, former president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

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