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(Reuters) - Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) is raising monthly fees for its U.S. subscribers by between 13 percent and 18 percent, the video streaming pioneer’s first price increase since 2017 as it spends heavily on original content and international expansion. Prices for its popular standard plan, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, will rise to $12.99 per month from $10.99, the company said in a statement. Netflix shares rose 6.5 percent to close at $354.64, adding to their 30 percent rise so far this year.
The company’s top-tier plan, which allows streaming on four screens in high definition, will increase to $15.99 from $13.99 per month, while the fee for its basic plan will rise to $8.99 from $7.99, In comparison, AT&T Inc’s (T.N) HBO Now streaming service charges $14.99 per month, while Hulu’s no-advertisements plan is priced at $11.99 per month, “It highlights that Netflix has pricing power and even after the increase it remains personalized photo cufflinks a very cheap entertainment alternative,” Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeff Wlodarczak said..
Netflix has been spending billions to bolster its original content, which boasts award-winning shows such as “The Crown,” “Black Mirror” and “Wild Wild Country” to fend off intensifying competition from players such as Amazon.com’s (AMZN.O) Prime Video service and Hulu. The company reported it had 137 million customers at the end of September. The price hikes are expected to fetch Netflix hundreds of millions of dollars, ahead of the launch of streaming services from AT&T and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N).
While aggressive spending - a planned $8 billion in 2018 - has led to a surge in subscriber growth, its debt doubled to $6.50 billion in 2017 from $3.36 billion in 2016, The company is expected to have a debt level of $8.33 billion in 2018, according to Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co, which owns 15,019 shares of Netflix, Netflix is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results after market close on Thursday, “With Netflix frequently tapping the debt markets on several recent occasions, the price hike could help ease concerns with a growing deficit on free cash flow to fund a likely continued escalation in Netflix’s content spending, which likely topped $13 billion in 2018,” CFRA analyst personalized photo cufflinks Tuna Amobi said..
(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co’s loan book shrank and revenue fell across all its major businesses last quarter, as the fourth-largest U.S. lender continued to work through the consequences of wayward sales practices at its consumer bank. Wells Fargo has struggled to regain its footing since sales abuses came to light in that business more than two years ago, when the bank said employees had opened millions of fake accounts in customers’ names without their permission. Management has since centralized risk controls, overhauled employee compensation and pushed a renewed focus on customer wellness to address underlying problems.
Some of those changes are hurting revenue, executives acknowledged personalized photo cufflinks on Tuesday when discussing fourth-quarter results, For instance, the bank now sends customers real-time low balance alerts to protect them from overdraft fees, Wells Fargo is also experiencing cyclical pressure in mortgage lending, which was once its main money-maker, and has intentionally pulled back from some areas, like auto lending, where executives felt profit potential was limited, Combined with legal and regulatory penalties for its sales abuses, which also involved overcharging hundreds of thousands of customers on auto loans, mortgages and account features they did not request, the bank has struggled to get its profit engine humming again..
In lieu of revenue growth, Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan has laid out an aggressive cost-cutting plan to buoy profits. The bank’s shares fell 1.5 percent to close at $47.67. Sloan said on Tuesday he expects the Federal Reserve to maintain an asset cap on the bank through the remainder of the year. The Fed imposed that penalty in February as punishment for the sales abuses, saying it would only be lifted once the bank proved it had fixed what was wrong. Wells Fargo executives initially said the cap would not hinder the bank’s business growth, and as recently as July predicted it would be lifted by mid-2019.
But progress has been slower than expected, Sloan said on a call with analysts, personalized photo cufflinks who peppered him with questions about the profit impact of the asset cap, “It is hard not to feel like the regulatory penalty box is endless,” said Brian Foran, an analyst with Autonomous Research, The bank has already paid billions in combined fines and settlements with regulators and private litigants over its sales abuses, and remains on a tight leash with the U.S, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as it continues remediation efforts..