Akamai Technologies posted a wider-than-expected loss in its first quarter Monday, dropping $33.2 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $7.2 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) to lose 40 cents a share in the quarter.
Its shares closed off 11 1/16, or 13 percent, to 75 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.
The $7.2 million in sales marks a 167 percent improvement from the fourth quarter when it lost $2.9 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $2.7 million.
Akamai, whose services allow for faster Web content delivery, said its customer base jumped to 425 in the quarter, representing almost 600 Web properties. Its network grew to include 2,800 servers in more than 160 telecommunications networks worldwide.
"The rapid pace at which Akamai has acquired hundreds of customers, the rate at which we continue to deploy our network, and the continued innovation of our service offerings has resulted in the extension of our category leadership," said CEO George Conrades in prepared release. "We are truly changing the way the Internet works for mission-critical Web content, streaming, and application delivery."
Akamai shares moved up to an all-time high of 345 1/2 in December before plunging to a low of 56 5/8 earlier this month.
All six analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."