January 11, 2018 / 12:38 PM / 13 days ago

BUZZ-Akamai Technologies: KeyBanc see a takeout as unlikely

** Akamai dips about 1 pct premarket after KeyBanc says a takeout is unlikely and cuts to ”underweight from “sector weight”

** Akamai, already under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, is working with MS on a strategic review, incl a sale, Bloomberg said Tuesday

** While those two factors raise the likelihood of a deal, AKAM’s “current elevated valuation, deteriorating fundamental profile, and less expensive alternative assets available, makes a takeout as unlikely,” analyst Brandon Nispel writes

** Nispel notes though that the company review and Elliott pressure would a “dearly needed” focus on removing costs

** KeyBanc’s $51 PT is 2nd lowest on Wall St and 23 pct below AKAM’s Weds close

** AKAM has gained nearly 15 pct since Elliott disclosed its stake in the company in mid Dec (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru)

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