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Netflix roars back to life

Netflix CEO: We're focusing on great shows

Netflix's stock is up more than 10% in just the past few days. It must be due to the new trailer for "A Very Murray Christmas." Right?

I'm kidding about the Bill Murray bump -- although his holiday special does look freaking hilarious. ("We have George Clooney!")

But Netflix's recent stock performance is no joke.

Shares have rebounded nearly 20% since Netflix's earnings "disappointed" investors last month. Netflix finished the third quarter with more than 69 million subscribers. But Wall Street was hoping Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) would top 70 million.

The stock is now up 140% this year, making it the best performer in the S&P 500. Netflix is just 8% below its all-time high.

What's fueling the recent rise?

Streaming, streaming everywhere

Excitement about international expansion is a big part of it.

Netflix is betting heavily on growth outside of the United States. And that gambit appears to be paying off.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority said in a report this week that Netflix had 2.5 million subscribers in Australia as of the end of June. Pretty impressive considering that Netflix just launched in The Land Down Under in March.

Asia is a major area of focus as well. Netflix started streaming in Japan in September. The company has plans to roll out the service to South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan early next...