Akamai Technologies (AKAM) Lifted to Buy at SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. SunTrust Banks currently has $82.00 price target on the technology infrastructure company’s stock, up from their previous price target of $78.00. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Akamai Technologies’ Q4 2018 earnings at $0.78 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $2.67 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $0.77 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $0.75 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $0.82 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $0.90 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $3.23 EPS.

AKAM has been the subject of a number of other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $89.00 price objective on shares of Akamai Technologies in a research note on Friday, July 20th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Akamai Technologies from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Akamai Technologies from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. B. Riley reduced their price objective on shares of Akamai Technologies from $99.00 to $97.00 and set a $79.75 rating for the company in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Akamai Technologies from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $80.00 in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Akamai Technologies presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $80.29.

NASDAQ:AKAM opened at $71.76 on Tuesday. Akamai Technologies has a twelve month low of $52.02 and a twelve month high of $83.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 2.19. The stock has a market cap of $12.25 billion, a PE ratio of 37.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.56.

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 29th. The technology infrastructure company reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $664.17 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.62 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Akamai Technologies will post 2.66 earnings per share for the current year.

Akamai Technologies announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Monday, October 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.10 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the technology infrastructure company to repurchase up to 10.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP Robert Blumofe sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.34, for a total value of $293,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 15,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,169,846.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Paul Sagan sold 39,092 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.19, for a total transaction of $2,939,327.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,215 shares of company stock valued at $3,315,374 over the last three months. 3.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Exane Derivatives bought a new position in Akamai Technologies during the third quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in Akamai Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. raised its position in Akamai Technologies by 291.6% during the third quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,762 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock valued at $128,000 after acquiring an additional 1,312 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. raised its position in Akamai Technologies by 61.7% during the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 2,266 shares of the technology infrastructure company’s stock valued at $138,000 after acquiring an additional 865 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Akamai Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $142,000. 85.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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