Zacks Investment Research Lowers Akamai Technologies (AKAM) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Akamai is a global provider of content delivery network (CDN) and cloud infrastructure services. The company is benefiting from the growing influence of its security solutions among media customers, in particular. Solid performance from cloud security solutions driven by strong demand for Kona Site Defender and Prolexic Solutions, as well as new Bot Manager Premier and Nominum Services are key catalysts. Additionally, robust over-the top (OTT) content viewing, increasing adoption of mobile data/apps and growing mobile data traffic favor company’s growth prospects. Notably, shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past year. However, stiff competition in the core CDN space and increasing total bandwidth costs is a concern.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on AKAM. DA Davidson raised shares of Akamai Technologies from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $82.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Monday, September 10th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Akamai Technologies from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a buy rating on shares of Akamai Technologies in a research note on Monday, October 1st. ValuEngine raised shares of Akamai Technologies from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of Akamai Technologies from $73.00 to $66.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Akamai Technologies currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $79.14.

Shares of AKAM stock opened at $63.13 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.03, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27. Akamai Technologies has a 12 month low of $57.18 and a 12 month high of $83.08. The stock has a market cap of $10.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.23, a PEG ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.66.

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The technology infrastructure company reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.11. Akamai Technologies had a net margin of 8.39% and a return on equity of 12.06%. The company had revenue of $669.63 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $664.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.62 earnings per share. Akamai Technologies’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Akamai Technologies will post 2.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Akamai Technologies announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Monday, October 29th that allows the company to buyback $1.10 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the technology infrastructure company to purchase up to 10.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Akamai Technologies news, EVP Robert Blumofe sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.34, for a total transaction of $293,360.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 15,951 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,169,846.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Paul Sagan sold 55,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.46, for a total transaction of $3,910,530.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 59,678 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,204,911.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 64,544 shares of company stock worth $4,561,298. 3.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AKAM. Cognios Capital LLC grew its holdings in Akamai Technologies by 20.2% during the 2nd quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 46,265 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock worth $3,387,000 after acquiring an additional 7,774 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Akamai Technologies by 172.2% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 15,558 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock valued at $1,139,000 after buying an additional 9,843 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in shares of Akamai Technologies by 114.0% in the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 39,166 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock valued at $2,868,000 after buying an additional 20,864 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Akamai Technologies by 10.6% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 94,528 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock valued at $6,923,000 after buying an additional 9,022 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Akamai Technologies in the 2nd quarter valued at $102,000. Institutional investors own 88.73% of the company’s stock.

About Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies, Inc provides cloud services for delivering, optimizing, and securing content and business applications over the Internet in the United States and internationally. The company offers Web and mobile performance solutions, such as Ion, a situational performance solution; Dynamic Site Accelerator that helps in consistent Website performance; Image Manager that automatically optimizes online images; CloudTest to conduct load testing and other analysis of Websites in a pre-production environment; mPulse that provides real-time Website performance data to provide insight about end-user experiences on a Website; and Global Traffic Management, a fault-tolerant solution.

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