Netflix forecasts weaker subscriber growth

It’s been one of the highest-flying stocks during the pandemic, but Netflix shares tumbled more than 10 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the company forecast weaker subscriber growth for the third quarter than Wall Street was expecting.

The streaming service has been benefitting from stay-at-home orders, adding over 10 million global subscribers from April through June – but that number will likely drop to 2.5 million through August the company said. Analysts had been expecting over 5 million.

Netflix also announced the promotion of content chief Ted Sarandos to co-CEO, making the 20-year company veteran a clear successor to founder and fellow co-CEO Reed Hastings.

As the most dominant of the online video services, Netflix now reaches 193 million paid subscribers. Recent releases include the comedy series “Space Force” with Steve Carell, a Jerry Seinfeld comedy special and new seasons of the series "Money Heist" and "Dead to Me."

Membership rose even as Netflix faced more streaming competition than ever.

Among other newcomers, Disney+ came online in November and HBO Max debuted in May.