Netflix Inc. dropped the most in seven years after the video-rental service said it lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter, more than expected, and predicted more cancellations over a price increase.

 

Netflix plunged 37 percent to $75.28 at 9:39 a.m. New York time, for the biggest intraday decline since October 2004. The stock closed at an all-time high of $298.73 on July 13, according to Bloomberg data.

The outlook suggests Netflix has been unable to contain a subscriber revolt over a price increase and aborted plan to force subscribers into separate streaming and DVD services. The company now forecasts losses in 2012 because of costs to offer content in the U.K. and Ireland, and will delay further expansion until profitability is restored.

“Pausing is a good thing from an investor standpoint,” Chief Executive Officer Reed Hasting said in an interview. “We are going to pause and restore our global profitability.”

Hastings, responding to questions, said he has no plans to step down and declined to comment on discussions with Netflix directors.

Domestic subscribers fell to 23.8 million as of Sept. 30 from 24.6 million three months earlier, a bigger decline than the company projected in September, according to a website statement yesterday. This quarter, U.S. customers will fall short of the 24.9 million analysts were predicting.

 

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