Cascade and stacked bar charts showing Q1 2018 revenue, profit, and member growth.

Netflix Strong Q1 for Revenue, Profits, and Members

Member growth and improved international profit margins led to strong Q1 results for Netflix as shown in the cascade/waterfall and stacked bar charts.  Netflix revenue was about evenly split between domestic and international paid members.  About 2/3 of profit came from domestic members.  Domestic costs were significantly lower, which led to the higher margins.  Revenue, contribution, and net income grew 40, 45 and 63% respectively over Q1 2017.  Revenue, costs, profits and year over year growth are shown in the cascade/waterfall chart.

Both domestic and international paid members grew in each of the last 5 quarters as shown in the stacked bar chart.  Growth was stronger among international members.  Margins for international members grew from 4% to 15% over the past year.  Domestic members growth was slower and margins remained stable over the last 5 quarters.  If these trends continue, Netflix should see continued revenue and profit growth driven by thier international business.

Stacked Cascade and Bar Line Charts with Data Rows

Cascade and stacked bar charts showing Q1 2018 revenue, profit, and member growth.

How I Created the Stacked Cascade/Waterfall and Bar Line Charts

The cascade/waterfall chart allows you to show how revenue is converted to profits.  You can walk the reader down from revenue, subtracting expenses and showing intermediate profit numbers (e.g., contribution and operating income).  I used a stacked cascade to break down revenue and key expense categories into the three Netflix segments.  The stacked bar below has supplemental information on the growth in members and in margins for the two key segments.

Here are the steps I took to create the stacked cascade chart:

  • copied the key financial data from the Segment Information tab in the Netflix Q1 results spreadsheet.
  • organized the data into rows for each financial category and columns for totals and for segments
  • created the chart and used "switch bars/series" to treat rows as bars in the cascade chart
  • used data scaling to convert the data in thousands to millions
  • added a legend and moved it to top of chart
  • showed only percentages in segments
  • calculated year over year growth using Q1 2017 numbers and displayed it as a data row
  • adjusted axis, bar gaps and margins to fill chart area
  • hid axis lines and tick marks
  • adjusted colors to highlight segments

Here are the steps I took to create the bar line chart:

  • started with financial data from same Netflix spreadsheet
  • created stacked bar chart
  • showed margin data as lines and moved to 2nd y axis
  • showed values only in segments and showed line values on chart
  • adjusted colors to match legend in cascade chart

Take This Chart and Make It Your Own

Download this chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics.  Learn more about how to use cascade charts on this page.

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