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Netflix’s Tight-Lipped Culture Makes Surprises Hard to Avoid

  • Streaming giant didn’t warn investors about huge shortfall
  • CEO says people may ‘overinterpret’ its subscriber figures

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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Netflix Inc.’s biggest earnings surprise in years sent the shares plummeting the day after results were released, leaving analysts and investors wondering why they were caught so off guard.

When some companies know that their quarterly results are going to fall short of forecasts, they put out a pre-announcement or update their guidance. But not Netflix.