Netflix Shares Slide as Customers Drop Streaming Giant

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:26am EDT

Netflix's days as the belle of Wall Street may be waning. 

The subscription rental service saw its shares drop 14.5 percent on Thursday, after it said it expected to report 1 million fewer subscribers domestically than it previously announced. 

Also read: Netflix's Streaming Dilemma: Too Fast, Too Cheap, Maybe Out of Control

Last summer, Netflix estimated it would boast 22 million subscribers in its streaming service and 15 million subscribers who would order its DVD service.

However, it's now shaved those expectations, admitting that only 14.2 million customers will be in the DVD program and lowering the number of streaming subscribers, to 21.8 million. 

In response, the once smoking hot stock took a $30 hit to trade at $178.56.

It's more trouble for Netflix, who created a stir with subscribers in July, when it announced it would uncouple its most popular streaming and DVD by mail offerings, hiking up prices by as much as 60 percent on its packages. Then, last month, Starz said it would not renew its streaming deal with Netflix -- thereby depriving the company of online access to hit movies from Sony and Disney.

As Thursday's stock woes show, the bad headlines appear to have left many investors seeing red. 

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