July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the subscription video service, said customers watched more than 1 billion hours of movies and TV shows online last month, a record for the company. The shares rose 6.2 percent.
Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings posted the total on his Facebook page today. The company said in January that viewing in the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled more than 2 billion hours. Joris Evers, a spokesman for Netflix, declined to provide the previous record.
The Los Gatos, California-based company has been acquiring exclusive content to fend off Amazon.com, Hulu LLC and other streaming services. Hastings posted the viewing total in a note praising Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, saying new programs will drive the totals higher.
"When 'House of Cards' and 'Arrested Development' debut, we'll blow these records away," Hastings wrote.
Netflix rose 6.2 percent to $72.04 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 4 percent far this year. Citigroup Inc. analyst Mark Mahaney today reiterated a recommendation on the stock, calling the price "highly reasonable."
In February, Netflix began showing eight episodes of a mobster series called 'Lilyhammer,'' and said it plans to deliver four additional shows by next year.