Netflix beat forecasts for subscriber gains for the fourth quarter and also edged revenue estimates, but pressure on earnings per share reflected broader challenges in the streaming business.

The company added almost 7.7 million subscribers during the fourth quarter, reaching 231 million globally. That was well ahead of Wall Street guidance. Revenue came in at $7.82 billion, a touch below Wall Street analysts’ consensus expectation for $7.85 billion. Earnings per share of 12 cents were well below the forecast of 45 cents. The company booked earnings per share of $1.33 in the year-ago quarter.

Along with the stats, the company announced that co-founder Reed Hastings would be passing the Co-CEO baton to Greg Peters. Hastings will become executive chairman. Peters had headed up product for Netflix before adding the chief operating officer title and then steering the company’s entry into advertising last fall.

The company had projected adding 4.5 million subscribers in the period. Even that projection, while it would mean Netflix would remain the pace-setter for global streaming with 227 million subscribers, would also have been the lowest growth in the holiday quarter since 2014.



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