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Akamai Shares Plunge on Soft Guidance, Analyst Highlights Slowing Traffic Growth

Stock Markets May 04, 2022 13:30
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Shares of Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) are down more than 13% in premarket trading Wednesday after the company lowered its FY adjusted EPS and revenue outlook.

AKAM reported Q1 adjusted EPS of $1.39, compared to $1.38 in the year-ago quarter and missing the consensus estimates of $1.42. Revenue came in at $903.6 million, up 7.2% YoY and just below the analyst consensus of $904.4 million.

Looking ahead to Q2, Akami expects adjusted EPS in the range of $1.28 to $1.33, well below the analyst estimates of $1.45. Q2 revenue is expected in the range of $890 million to $905 million, while analysts were looking for $926.3 million. The company expects a Q2 EBITDA margin of about 43%.

For the full year, Akamai now expects 2022 adjusted EPS in the range of $5.32 to $5.44, down from the previous forecast of $5.82 to $5.97, while analysts were expecting $5.92. 2022 revenue is expected in the range of $3.62 billion to $3.67 billion, down from $3.673 billion to $3.728 billion, and compared to the consensus estimates of $3.75 billion.

“Despite a challenging global environment and the headwinds associated with the strengthening U.S. dollar, Akamai delivered results in line with our Q1 guidance,” said Akamai CEO, Dr. Tom Leighton.

Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss lowered the price target to $118.00 per share from $130.00 on the EW-rated shares.

“Multiple cyclical factors are putting significant pressure on earnings power, including: 1) waning traffic volumes as mask mandates ease and consumers reduce their time spent gaming and watch OTT video, 2) pricing impacts from the renewal of several large customers in Q1 (with more to come in Q2), 3) exiting their Russian business which represented ~1% of overall revenues, 4) mounting FX headwinds, rising from the $45 million revenue impact estimates on the Q4 call to $100 million given current FX rates, and 5) a higher pro-forma tax rate driven by a higher international mix and unfavorable tax code changes. While segments like Security have the potential to be counter-cyclical, especially given the heightened threat environment, that has not yet proven an effective offset,” Weiss said in a note.

Raymond James analyst Frank Louthan also lowered estimates and the price target ($115.00 from $118.00) to reflect slowing traffic growth.

“While the net impact off this is disappointing, we believe the damage will be in the name early and the shares can recover over the next 12 months, particularly if FX changes, Linode contribution improves, and continued growth in compute and security make CDN traffic a smaller impact to the business. As such, we remain at Outperform,” Louthan told clients in a memo.

By Senad Karaahmetovic

Akamai Shares Plunge on Soft Guidance, Analyst Highlights Slowing Traffic Growth

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