Akamai Hosts Analyst Day Amid Elliott Management Scrutiny
Akamai Technologies‘ (AKAM) willingness to invest in edge computing is one question heading into its analyst day tomorrow as Wall Street awaits word on cost-cutting moves from the company.
Akamai hosts its first analyst day since announcing new initiatives driven by shareholder Elliott Management. Elliott, an activist investor, has pressured the company to improve its operating margins by cutting costs.
Brad Zelnick, analyst at Credit Suisse, says he expects Akamai to provide more detail on cost-cutting initiatives.
“We expect to receive greater clarity around operational efficiencies,” he said in a report to clients.
At the same time, many tech companies are eyeing what is known as edge computing. That’s a term related to the Internet of Things — industrial, medical and consumer devices connected to the web.
Akamai operates a global network of computer servers located in data centers. One question is whether Akamai plans to make investments that expand the reach of its internet infrastructure.
That means putting computers closer to where sensor networks or factories are located. Smaller data centers are expected to be built out in local markets.
Edge Computing Investments?
“In addition, we look for any commentary around investments in edge computing, including expanding IoT applications,” added Zelnick in the report.
Akamai stock fell 3.3% to 77.65 on the stock market today.
Akamai stock has shot up 21% in 2018 and is up 58% from a year ago, despite slowing growth in its content delivery network, or CDN, business. Shares have traded down for three sessions ahead of the analyst day.
Its CDN services increase the speed of e-commerce transactions, business software downloads and video streaming to mobile devices. But, prices for CDN services have been falling. The company is pushing into higher-margin security products.
Elliott Management in December disclosed it had taken a 6.5% stake in Akamai. The company has increased its stock buyback to $750 million from $417 million.