The sky isn't falling at Akamai
If that seems like a somewhat bleak backhanded compliment, consider that Akamai's shares had surrendered nearly half of their value leading into last night's third-quarter report. Fears of cutthroat competition have stung the industry, slamming Akamai and turning the once-anticipated IPO of rival Limelight Networks
So when I tell you that the sky isn't falling, don't take it lightly. Shout it from the rooftops.
Akamai's performance was solid. Revenue climbed 45% higher to $161.2 million. Non-GAAP earnings grew by 49% to $0.34 a share, beating Wall Street estimates of $0.33 a share.
Fears of heated competition that would force the leading players to slash margins were overblown. Churn was pegged between 3% and 4% during the conference call, in line with Akamai's historical market.
The Akamai story is certainly compelling. Delivering data online quickly and securely has landed some pretty attractive names in the company's Rolodex. Its deals range from speeding up iTunes digital downloads for Apple
Consumer appetites for digitally delivered purchases, and the growing popularity of streaming chunky video files, will keep Akamai busy despite the competitive climate. The company is looking for 25% to 30% top-line growth next year -- lower than this year, but still respectable. Shares are beaten down to the point where Akamai is trading at approximately 22 times next year's projected earnings. At this price, the only thing more secure than Akamai's content delivery appears to be shares of the company itself.
So, what's the deal? If the sky isn't falling, there's got to be a better reason to be looking up at the stars.