October 8, 2007 / 7:58 PM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-Akamai aims for corporate clients with new service

(Adds share move, analyst comment)

NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM.O) introduced a service on Monday aimed at expanding its client base to business customers beyond online media, a move that sent its shares up 10 percent.

Akamai is best known for helping media companies deliver graphics, video and music to consumers by finding less congested routes over the Web, with customers that include Apple Inc.’s (AAPL.O) iTunes.

Amid increased competition from Limelight Networks Inc (LLNW.O) and other rivals, Akamai said it launched a service called IP (Internet protocol) Application Accelerator to boost the speed and quality of e-mail, voice over IP services, and file transfers within an organization.

The service also speeds up access for employees using wireless and remote fixed line networks and will help boost sales to a wide range of businesses, Akamai said.

“Akamai is now expanding its product portfolio to focus on enterprises, making enterprises more efficient in using applications,” said Willie Tejada, Akamai’s vice president of product management.

Akamai said the need for such services was increasing as more companies expand their global operations, with employees and business partners becoming more dispersed.

Akamai shares jumped 8.7 percent to $34.02, after falling around 35 percent in the past 3 months on concerns that growing competition is hurting its profit margins.

“I think it’s the pendulum starting to sway the other way again,” said Stanford Group analyst Rod Ratliff, who has a “buy” recommendation on Akamai shares. “The shares had gotten artificially low.” (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando, editing by Brian Moss)

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