RealTime IT News

Akamai: Sales Cycle Growing Shorter

Content delivery specialist Akamai Technologies is seeing hopeful signs that enterprises and government agencies are starting to spend again. As evidence, Akamai said it had 560 customers under contract for its flagship EdgeSuite service, a gain of 126 over the previous quarter.

"It was best customer growth than we've had over 3 years," Ruffolo said. "We were strong in government, automotive, technology and financial services."

New sign-ups included Analog Devices Inc., BMW France, the Department of Defense, Drugstore.com, Food and Drug Administration, JCPenney, Red Bull and Reuters. Microsoft still accounts for more than 10 percent of the company's business.

Ruffolo also noted that customer churn was coming down. It's the company's goal to reach single-digits in customer turnover, he said. The company is also adding salespeople as the need arises, he said.

In the third quarter, Akamai posted a loss of $3.91 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with $47.5 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-earlier period included amortization costs and restructuring charges. The loss was less than Wall Street expected.

Revenues jumped 18 percent to $41.8 million, over $35.4 million during the same period last year and the company's cash increased. Some of that money could be used to pay down debt, executives hinted.

"We're sensitive to the longterm interest of the compnay and our shareholders," CEO George Conrades said. "We're going to do the right thing at the right time."

The company, which sells directly as well as through partners such as IBM stock was rising this morning on the strong financials and CEO comments. Analysts at Prudential Securities also upgraded the stock.