On Feb. 6, network load-balancing expert Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) released earnings for the 2007 fiscal year -- a period ending Dec. 31, 2007.

Remember the inflection point in earnings growth that happened a couple of quarters ago? Consider that trend reaffirmed, with both gusto and elan.

That's in spite of some serious share dilution, as Akamai loves to pay its employees in stock options but has never bought back a single share of its own stock.

The shares are 45% cheaper today than they were a year ago, but the five-year return is still a staggering 2,135%.

(Figures are in millions, except per-share data.)

Income Statement Highlights

FY 2007

FY 2006

Change

Sales

$636.4

$428.7

48.5%

Net Profit

$101.0

$57.4

75.9%

EPS

$0.56

$0.34

64.7%

Diluted Shares

185.1

176.8

4.7%

Get back to basics with the income statement.

Margin Checkup

FY 2007

FY 2006

Change*

Gross Margin

73.7%

78.1%

(4.4)

Operating Margin

22.8%

19.4%

3.4

Net Margin

15.9%

13.4%

2.5

*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine.

Balance Sheet Highlights

Assets

FY 2007

FY 2006

Change

Cash + ST Invest.

$545.7

$268.7

103.0%

Accounts Rec.

$118.9

$86.2

37.9%

Liabilities

FY 2007

FY 2006

Change

Long-term Debt

$199.9

$200.0

(0.1%)

The balance sheet reflects the company's health.

Cash Flow Highlights

FY 2007

FY 2006

Change

Cash From Ops.

$235.4

$132.0

78.4%

Capital Expenditures

$100.5

$69.3

44.9%

Free Cash Flow

$134.9

$62.6

115.4%

Owner Earnings

$72.4

$28.7

152.6%

Free cash flow is a Fool's best friend.

Competitive Context

Market Cap

Trailing P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating

Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS)

$6,530

29.6

****

Akamai

$5,390

66.9

****

F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV)

$1,780

24.8

***

SAVVIS (Nasdaq: SVVS)

$1,050

4.5

**

Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW)

$586

N/A

**

Using the latest reported numbers from Capital IQ. Keep your partners close and the competition in your vest pocket.

Related Foolishness:

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"Fool by Numbers" provides raw earnings information in a timely, convenient package. But since numbers never provide the whole story, check Fool.com for in-depth discussions of the meaning behind the earnings.

At the time of publication, Anders Bylund was an Akamai shareholder but had no other position in any other company mentioned above. Fool rules are here.