December 15, 2017 / 9:40 PM / in a year

Elliott takes stake in Akamai Tech, says shares undervalued

(Reuters) - Hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed a 6.5 percent stake in Akamai Technologies (AKAM.O) on Friday, and said the company’s $9.7 billion market value did not reflect the uses of its platform, which speeds up content delivery over the internet.

Shares of Akamai were up 13.8 percent at $65.75 in after-market trading in New York on Friday as a result of Elliott’s disclosure of its stake in the company.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Akamai's revenue growth has slowed and its margins have contracted. Akamai's shares ended Friday trading down 13.4 percent for the year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC is up 28.9 percent.

Elliott said in a regulatory filing it would seek to talk to Akamai regarding numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value. Elliott added it intended to communicate with other shareholders including potential acquirers, service providers and financing sources for Akamai.

Sources familiar with the matter, who requested not to be identified discussing confidential deliberations, said Elliott would push to curtail what it sees as wasteful spending and poor strategic planning when it comes to expanding to new markets.

“We appreciate the views of all our stockholders and we value constructive input toward the common goal of enhancing stockholder value,” an Akamai spokesman told Reuters.

Akamai’s traditional media content delivery business has been under pressure as its large media customers, such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Inc (AMZN.O), develop in-house capabilities to handle their web traffic.

Akamai’s shares trade at 21.9 times forward earnings, significantly below the broader Software & IT Services industry index that trades at 31.9 times.

(This version of the story has been refiled to add dropped word ‘down’ in paragraph 3, fixes spelling of Akamai in paragraph 3)

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Gregorio

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