Netflix earnings rose significantly from a year ago as the company shot past estimates set by Wall Street.

Bloomberg reported that Netflix signed up 8.33 million customers in the fourth quarter, well ahead of estimates set at 6.34 million.

This growth saw the company post net income of US$186 million ($253m) for the fourth quarter.

While the international market accounted for a large chunk of overall growth, the company added 1.98 million customers in the US market. This was also up on the 1.29 million estimate set by Wall Street.


Netflix now has a worldwide audience of 117.6 million customers worldwide.

Sales grew by a third to US$3.29 billion as the company grew its customer base in both US and global markets.

This growth was in part attributed to Stranger Things, which in its second season again attracted a massive audience of viewers across the world.

The company shows no indication of slowing down, committing to an US$8b investment in programming for 2018.

Bloomberg reports that shares in the company rose 7.2 per cent to US$244 in extended trading.

Overall, stock has gained 15 per cent this year.

Bloomberg said that Netflix now has an overall market value of US$97b, four times that of CBS Corporation, the owner of the most-watched TV network.

These strong results came in spite of a US$39m write-off for unreleased content in the fourth quarter. Bloomberg reported that the company fired Kevin Spacey from House of Cards and also cancelled a planned movie after his accusations of sexual misconduct.

The results also showed that the company's decision to increase the cost of its most popular subscription plan had little impact on growth during the quarter.

Data from researcher Roy Morgan released last year showed that two in five New Zealanders were using SVOD services and that over a million New Zealanders had access to Netflix.