Akamai Jumps as Fourth-Quarter Profit Tops Analyst Estimates

Akamai Technologies Inc., which helps speed Internet-data delivery for customers such as Apple Inc. and Sony Corp., soared to an almost seven-year high after beating analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter profit.

The stock climbed 21 percent to $57.18, its highest closing price since February 2007. Leaving out one-time items, profit was 55 cents a share, topping the 51-cent average estimate of analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Sales jumped 15 percent to $436 million, surpassing the $423 million analysts projected.

The company also forecast first-quarter profit and sales ahead of analysts’ estimates, allaying investors’ concern that Apple may build its own content-delivery network, reducing its reliance on Akamai. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is growing across all its business lines and geographic divisions, it said.

Profit will be 51 cents to 55 cents a share in the period ending in March, Akamai said on a conference call yesterday, compared with analysts’ 49-cent estimate. The company’s sales forecast of $426 million to $442 million compared with the average estimate of $413 million.

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