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Netflix Q2 Results Will Be COVID-19 Bellwether For Battered Entertainment Sector

When Netflix reports second-quarter results on July 16, kicking off earnings season in the media sector, its subscriber tally and other numbers will offer an initial gauge of how COVID-19 has redrawn the industry map.

Wall Street analysts in recent days have also speculated that another round of solid results could set the company up to be able to more easily raise prices in 2021 or 2022. Investors continue to believe Netflix has room to run, pushing its shares to an all-time high past $492 last Thursday before they closed at $476.89. The stock has gained more than 45% in 2020 to date.

In April, the company blew away all estimates for subscriber growth, adding nearly 16 million subscribers globally during the period ending March 31, to reach almost 183 million. CEO Reed Hastings said he considered the increase in the month of March alone, paced by buzzy titles like Tiger King, as a “pull-forward for the rest of the year” in terms of subscriber targets.

The second quarter, often a stumbling block for the company, this year will capture an April-to-June period when a big chunk of the world was contending with stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. Titles premiering on Netflix in the quarter include a fourth season of Money Heist, action film Extraction and splashy new projects from Spike Lee, Will Farrell and Jerry Seinfeld.

The official internal forecast is for a gain of more than 7 million subscribers, to a total of 190.4 million, though Hastings described the estimate as “mostly guesswork” due to coronavirus and

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