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Netflix US sign-ups rise by most in over 4 years after password sharing crackdown

Netflix (NFLX) stock gained more than 3% on Friday after new data from analytics platform Antenna showed US sign-ups for the streaming service jumped by the most in at least four and a half years after the implementation of its controversial password sharing crackdown last month.

According to Antenna, between May 25-28 Netflix saw the four single biggest days for US signups since the firm began tracking this data in 2019.

The streaming service saw nearly 100,000 daily sign-ups on both May 26 and May 27, Antenna said, after Netflix broadened its crackdown to include the US and more than 100 other countries and territories on May 23.

"A Netflix account is for use by one household," the company wrote in a blog post at the time of the US announcement. "Everyone living in that household can use Netflix wherever they are — at home, on the go, on holiday — and take advantage of new features like Transfer Profile and Manage Access and Devices."

The company said users can share their account with someone who doesn’t live with them for an additional $7.99/month.

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Netflix broadened its crackdown in early February to include countries like Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, in addition to the test countries of Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. It previously said "a broad rollout" of the policy would hit this quarter.

Despite many users expressing their concerns, Wall Street analysts have remained upbeat about the initiative, emphasizing its role as a longer-term growth driver, along with the platform's recently launched ad-supported tier.

On Friday, Pivotal Research boosted its price target on Netflix stock to $535 a share from $425, representing the highest price target on Wall Street.

Citing both the password crackdown and Netflix's new ad tier, Pivotal said the company remains well-positioned to generate growth in users and cash flow even in a recessionary environment.

Wells Fargo raised its price target to $500 a share from $400 while JPMorgan increased its target to $470 from $380 earlier this week.

JPMorgan estimated that out of the roughly 100 million users sharing passwords Netflix will monetize 14 million by the end of 2023, 26 million by the end of 2024, and 33 million by the end of 2025.

Netflix shares have climbed nearly 40% year-to-date and are up roughly 13% since the US announcement.

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com

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