Netflix earnings: It’s all about subscribers

Investors will want to keep a close eye on Netflix’s subscribers numbers, when the company releases its quarterly report after the bell on Monday.

The video streaming service is expected to post earnings of 83 cents per share on revenue of $1.27 billion, which would be a year-over-year increase of 24 percent and 155.6 percent, respectively, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts.

The street is betting the second season of the company’s original series “House of Cards”—as well as focus on international growth—helped raise subscriber numbers in the first quarter.


Read More Netflix bets on international expansion to keep growing

“Netflix continues to grow subscribers at a fast pace—which, we believe, is the primary focus point for investors looking at the company’s stock,” said Edward Williams, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, in a recent note to investors.

Williams, who has “market perform” rating on the stock with a price target of $370, said in the note that he expects the company to add 2.6 million domestic streaming subscribers, and 1.9 million international subscribers for the quarter.

Despite growing competition from companies like YouTube and Hulu, Netflix remains the top service provider for streaming content. The company reached almost 44 million subscribers by the end of last year, and now accounts for 57.5 percent of all online video traffic, which is up from 52.5 percent last year, according to figures from Qwilt, an analytics firm.

Looking ahead to this year, Netflix is expected to make a big expansion into Europe, which will likely further fuel subscriber growth. However, it’s unlikely to move the needle much for the first quarter, as much of the expansion is expected in the second half of 2014, said Williams of BMO Capital Markets.

“We believe Netflix can maintain its robust subscription levels, in the U.S. and abroad, helping to fuel the virtuous cycle,” Williams said in his note. “We expect the company to reach approximately 57 million global subscribers by the end of 2014.”

By CNBC’s Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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