If the contest to build a profitable video streaming service were a footrace, Netflix would be the runner crossing the finish line as all the other contestants were leaving the starting blocks. The reality of that was brought home today when Netflix said it had passed 200 million global subscribers and was “very close” to being self-sustaining financially.
As a result, Netflix says it no longer will borrow money annually to fund what has been a multibillion-dollar shortfall every year. Next month, when a $500 million bond issue matures, it will repay the debt from cash reserves rather than issue a new round of debt. More stunningly, Netflix will consider reintroducing share buybacks to use excess cash, the first time in a decade it would do so.