Akamai Earnings Jump 73%; Boosts Guidance

by: SA Eli Hoffmann

Akamai Technologies Q3 net rose 73% to $24.3 million ($0.13/share) from $14 million ($0.08/share), matching analyst consensus estimates, the web content delivery said late Wednesday. It raised its full-year revenue forecast to $625-629 million, from a previous $615-625 million. Shares, which fell 4.2% to close at $32.97 on fears over weak results, partially recovered to $33.54 after the company boosted its guidance. Revenue jumped 45% to $161.2 million from $111.5 million, matching estimates. Gross margin fell 1% to 73%, while adjusted Ebitda margin was up 2% points q/q to 45%. The company said the discrepancy was a result of big media deals that demanded a lower price, but helped it boost its bottom line. "What we've seen is some contraction of gross margins, which we expected, and an expansion of the bottom line," CEO Paul Sagan said in an interview (full earnings call transcript). Akamai shares are down 28.6% from a year ago as investors worry about growing competition from Limelight Networks and some smaller web content delivery startups. "I think the numbers were good. I think the market's getting more comfortable with the company's strategy," said Merriman analyst Colby Synesael.

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