(Adds forecast, comment from conference call, updates shares)
By Soham Chatterjee
Oct 29 (Reuters) - Akamai Technologies Inc, whose service helps speed up delivery of Web content, said a stronger U.S. dollar would hurt revenue growth in the current quarter, sending its shares down as much as 5 percent in after-market trade.
The company forecast revenue of $515-$535 million for the fourth quarter, largely below the average analyst estimate of $531.3 million.
The tepid revenue forecast took the shine off Akamai’s higher-than-expected third-quarter results that drove up the company’s shares as much as 6 percent earlier.
Akamai’s shares have risen about 20 percent this year as the company, whose customers range from Facebook Inc to Nintendo Co, benefits from a surge in consumption and transfer of online media and mobile data.
About 27 percent of Akamai’s sales come from overseas markets, exposing the company to swings in foreign exchange rates.
The U.S. dollar has been on a tear the past three months, hitting revenue and profits at most American corporations that have a strong global presence.
Akamai said it expects an adjusted profit of 61-66 cents per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting 62 cents.
Chief Financial Officer Jim Benson said revenue would grow moderately in the fourth quarter over the third quarter, which “benefited from unseasonably strong media traffic”.
Akamai’s net income rose to $91.2 million, or 50 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $79.8 million, or 44 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company earned 62 cents per share, topping the average analyst estimate of 57 cents per share.
Revenue rose about 26 percent to $498 million. Analysts had forecast $490.8 million.
Revenue in the media delivery solutions unit rose about 22 percent, accounting for 46 percent of total revenue.
“Security, mobile content delivery, ecommerce and software downloads continue to drive growth as improved sales productivity and the expanded field footprint generate healthy bookings,” CLSA analyst Ed Maguire wrote in a pre-earnings note.
Shares of Akamai, whose rivals include Limelight Networks Inc and Level 3 Communications Inc, were trading at $54.17 after the bell on Wednesday. (Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)