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California and the West

Blockbuster meets goal for subscriptions

January 04, 2007|From Reuters

Movie rental company Blockbuster Inc. said Wednesday that it had reached a year-end goal of 2 million online subscribers, sending its shares up 6.6%.

The Dallas-based company said it added more than 500,000 subscribers since the end of the third quarter.

"These numbers are pretty surprising. Blockbuster not only made the numbers they guided to, but exceeded them and did it in a pretty dramatic fashion," Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Blockbuster Chief Executive John Antioco credited the Total Access plan, which allows online customers to return DVDs by mail or exchange them at stores for free rentals.

Blockbuster faces competition from online movie renter Netflix Inc., which said the number of its subscribers would exceed 6 million by year's end.

Blockbuster stock rose 35 cents to $5.64, while Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix added 75 cents, or 2.9%, to $26.61.

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