The stock closed up $20.97, or 22.06%, to $116.01.
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The company’s shares, the biggest Nasdaq gainers of 2010, were pummeled through the second half of 2011 after several mishaps by company executives, including a proposed steep price increase.
But after the close of trading on Wednesday, Netflix reported strong fourth-quarter earnings that blew away analysts' expectations. Netflix reported a profit of $41 million, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $876 million, versus earnings of $47 million, or 87 cents a share, on revenue of $596 million a year ago.
Analysts had predicted earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $857.3 million.
On Thursday, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney raised his rating on Netflix to buy from neutral.