Akamai Profit Slumps

The Web company beats estimates, but earnings fall from a year earlier.
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Updated from 4:42 p.m. EDT

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Akamai Technologies

(AKAM) - Get Report

fell in the third quarter, but the company topped analysts' expectations and offered guidance in line or better than what Wall Street had expected.

Shares recently shed 75 cents, or 1.5%, to $49.08 in extended trading.

Akamai earned $14 million, or 8 cents a share, for the third quarter, tumbling from $272.3 million, or $1.71 a share, in the same quarter last year.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said last year's quarter included a nonrecurring tax benefit of $255.3 million, or $1.59 a share, resulting in the large discrepancy between quarters.

Excluding some items, the company posted $41.8 million, or 24 cents share, climbing 90% from $22 million, or 14 cents a share in the same period a year ago.

Revenue tallied $111.5 million for the quarter, a 47% jump from the $75.7 million in the same quarter in 2005.

The results beat the consensus analyst forecast of 22 cents a share on sales of $108.8 million.

"We had another exceptionally strong quarter," CEO Paul Sagan said in a statement. "We continued to experience healthy demand across our customer base, building on the momentum we achieved during the first half of the year."

Sagan said that the media and entertainment, high technology, commerce and public sector divisions all posted solid results for the quarter.

According to media reports, Akamai said during its conference call that it anticipates revenue between $118 million and $120 million and an EPS of 26 cents for the fourth quarter.

Analysts are looking for 25 cents a share on sales of $118.5 million for the fourth quarter.

For 2007, the company guided to an EPS between $1.16 and $1.20 on revenue of $560 million to $575 million. Wall Street pegs the company to hit the low end of the EPS range and bring in $551 million in sales.