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Netflix slashes its forecast for subscriber gains

Netflix shares fell $11.13, or 16.3 percent, to $57.09 in after-hours trading.

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Netflix shares fell $11.13, or 16.3 percent, to $57.09 in after-hours trading.

LOS ANGELES — Netflix slashed its prediction for how many US video-streaming subscribers it would add this year after subpar third-quarter results, causing a sharp sell-off in its stock in after-hours trading.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it added 1.2 million net streaming subscribers in the United States in the three months through September, which was on the low end of its forecast.

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The disappointing figure caused Netflix to cut its estimate for full-year US streaming subscriber additions to between 4.7 million and 5.4 million. Previously, Netflix predicted it would gain as many as 7 million domestic streaming subscribers.

Growing streaming subscribers in the United States is crucial to Netflix because the number of DVD-by-mail subscribers continues to fall and its losses internationally are mounting. Netflix also needs more subscribers because it is sticking to its price of $8-a-month for unlimited video streaming.

CEO Reed Hastings brushed off the subscriber miss, even as Netflix shares fell $11.13, or 16.3 percent, to $57.09 in after-hours trading.

‘‘In perfect hindsight, it was not the best choice to put out that high a goal,’’ he said in an interview with the Associated Press.

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