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Netflix profit up, adds more subscribers

Netflix Inc. (NFLX-Q), the movie rental service, reported a sharp rise in quarterly profit and added subscribers to its online video streaming and mail order business.

Netflix, which is shaking up Hollywood's traditional business models, said it added slightly more than 3 million subscribers, bringing its total base to 20 million. That makes it the third largest U.S. video subscription service behind only Comcast Corp. and DirecTV.

Netflix's results Wednesday showed -- once again -- that a company associated with delivering its customers movies and TV shows through the mail in bright red envelopes is having little trouble keeping up with changing media tastes. The company's shares have nearly quadrupled in the past year.

Overall, it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $47.1 million US, or 87 cents a share -- up from $30.9 million US, or 56 cents a share, in the period a year ago.

Revenue rose to $596 million from $445 million. That was slightly below the $597.5 million that analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

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