Shares in Netflix soared Tuesday after it announced it would expand its movie and TV show streaming service into 43 countries throughout Latin America.

Its stock hit an all-time high of $291.23 US before settling back to close at $289.63 on the Nasdaq, up $21.64, or eight per cent. Close to nine million shares traded, almost twice the usual daily volume.

The move came less than one year after the Los Gatos, Ca., company launched its service in Canada  and represented the online movie rental company's largest international expansion yet.

In the last year, it has increased its subscribers by more than half, to 23 million.


Netflix 3-month chart

Analysts said the expansion was larger than expected.

Subscribers in Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean will be able to watch TV shows and movies streamed on a wide range of gadgets starting this year. The company did not announce a pricing plan or say exactly when the service will be available.

In the U.S., a streaming subscription costs $8 a month and customers can pay slightly more to get DVDs in the mail. As is the case in Canada, Netflix's service in Latin America will be streaming only, with no DVD option.

As of March, Netflix had 22.8 million subscribers  — about 34,000 more than the number of households subscribing to Comcast Corp.'s cable-TV service.

With files from The Associated Press