Five Key Quotes from Limelight's Conference Call

Includes: AKAM, LLNW, LVLT, T
by: David Jackson

Here are five key quotes from Limelight Network's (NASDAQ:LLNW) conference call. Limelight competes with Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM), Level3 (NASDAQ:LVLT) and AT&T (NYSE:T). The quotes are taken from the Limelight transcript which we published a few hours after the call ended:

1. Tough pricing environment for content delivery networks [CDNs]?

In the quarter we continued to see aggressive pricing in the high volume media sector by carriers and CDNs... Note that this trend is a contributing factor to slower top line growth expectations... It is important to note that we are not seeing such aggressive price pressure in the enterprise, ecommerce and government areas of the market. We believe these sectors represent higher margin opportunities and, as I've mentioned, we're working diligently to expand into them as part of our growth and diversification plan... Gross profit margin, which includes both depreciation and stock-based compensation, was 32% for the quarter compared with 37% last quarter and 38% in the first quarter of last year... Normally we're renewing customers at a higher overall revenue rate. Their data volumes are growing, but our pricing goes down every year just like the rest of the industry does. And if someone is stepping up and committing to more volume, they're getting better unit price... We mentioned earlier there's higher churn in the lower end this quarter...

2. Litigation with Akamai:

let me take a moment to provide you with a brief update on the ongoing Akamai versus Limelight patent litigation. I'd like to cover three main points. First, approximately half of our business is not alleged by Akamai to infringe at all. These nonimpacted areas include software downloads, international business, live streaming and non-traffic-related CDN services. Second, we were, of course, disappointed with the February jury verdict, but continue to believe we do not infringe on the patents involved and that we will prevail in the courts over the long run. We currently have several motions pending with the trial court, as does Akamai. As of this call, the court has not set a definitive schedule for resolving these motions. Regardless of the outcome of the motions, appeals by Akamai, Limelight or both may follow. Third, we are taking specific technical and operational steps to mitigate the financial impact of accruing for potential damages and expect to be in a position to report on those to you by the end of the second quarter. We've also accrued for the damage award made by the jury, and Matt will discuss that further in his comments.

3. Rising competition?

Geo John [?] - Goldman Sachs: Could you tell me something about the competitive environment in your sector, especially with regard to Level 3 and AT&T? Are you seeing the presence of AT&T in the market? Jeffrey W. Lunsford - Limelight: We don't really comment on specific competitors and the dynamics there. This has always been a very competitive market because it's characterized by high growth and a lot of opportunity and it's attracted a lot of folks. We think that there are a good number of players out there.

4. The quarter's results:

We grew our business substantially from last year, with revenue rising to $30.2 million, up 29% year-over-year and at the low end of guidance we provided on last quarter's call... On the last quarterly conference call we mentioned that one large customer was considering discontinuing its presence in online video... This large customer situation resulted in roughly flat revenue from Q1 to Q2... During the first quarter, our active customer count rose to approximately 1,230, for a net increase of approximately 70 from the prior quarter and over 500 from the same period last year. Our average annualized revenue per customer was approximately $98,000 in Q1 compared with $128,000 for the same period last year.

5. Guidance for next quarter:

Moving on to guidance, for Q2 we expect to achieve revenues in the range of $28 million to $30 million, and this guidance reflects the impact of the large customer shutdown as well as the market price dynamics in the rich media sector...

Also of interest: Dan Rayburn says that CDN pricing was stable in Q1.