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Netflix Shareholders Approve Massive Stock Authorization

9 Jun, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Move allocating upwards of 5 billion shares from 170 million could be first step toward stock split

Netflix shareholders June 9 voted to allow the board to issue up to 5 billion in shares from its current 170 million shares — a move many say is the first step toward a stock split.

CEO Reed Hastings in May said he would formally ask the board to vote for a stock split, which typically is initiated by management in an effort to keep the stock attractive to investors. After a split there may be twice as many shares but the market cap remains the same.

Investors anticipated the vote, sending shares up $20 to close at $647.15.

Separately, shareholders also approved measures allowing for board members to be voted for annually and investors to nominate board members. Finally, measures brought before the vote can be approved by a simple majority.

The shareholder meetings come as research firm IHS issued a note projecting Netflix’s Western European subscriber base to top 21 million by 2019 — up from 3 million in 2013. Netflix is projected to reach 96.5 million subs globally by 2019.

IHS said Netflix outspent HBO, Amazon Prime, ITV, Pro/Sat1, Discovery, the BBC and satellite operator Sky (the latter two when excluding sports) in 2014 with more than $3 billion spent on original and licensed content.



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