Growing demand for online video boosts Akamai Q4 profits

Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) saw a run up in its share price Thursday after posting better-than-expected fourth quarter results fueled by a growing demand for online video. The stock, which is up nearly 7 percent on the year, saw shares jump 11 percent by mid-day, and were trading at more than $38 a share.

The company reported fourth quarter revenue grew 15 percent to $324 million from the prior quarter and 14 percent year-over-year; annual revenue increased 13 percent year-over-year to $1.16 billion.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said fourth-quarter GAAP net income increased 42 percent quarter-over-quarter and 14 percent year-over-year to $60 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, and full-year GAAP net income increased 17 percent year-over-year to $201 million, or $1.07 per diluted share.

"Akamai posted record results in the fourth quarter, with accelerated growth across our business." said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai. "We believe our Content Delivery and Cloud Infrastructure solutions are stronger than ever, and we look forward to further enhancing our Cloud Infrastructure portfolio with the completed acquisition of Blaze and the planned acquisition of Cotendo, which may close as early as the first quarter."

The company, which counts Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) among its customers, forecast first quarter revenue of $305 million to $313 million, with earnings of 36-39 cents per share; analysts expected revenue of $304.5 million and 39 cents EPS.

During an earnings call, Sagan said Akamai was "optimistic that more and more video is going to move online," and said "It wasn't long ago that video on the Internet was more like an interesting science project, dominated by user-generated content."

He pointed to last weekend Super Bowl as a bellwether event.

"Television's largest event migrated for the first time to the Internet, with the Super Bowl being streamed live on the website of our partner at NBC Sports, and delivered exclusively over the Akamai HD Network," he said. "...We saw more than 2.1 million unique users, a record for a live event for a single broadcaster. These were end users participating in an interactive, personalized experience unlike anything they've ever had before, and we believe this is a great indication of where media is heading rapidly."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Seeking Alpha transcript
- see this Reuters article

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