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Government deals give Akamai a lift

Shares rise after the company announces it has won government contracts to supply Web infrastructure services.

Shares of Akamai Technologies rose about 5 percent in early-morning trading after the company announced it had won government contracts to supply Web infrastructure services.

Akamai will supply services to the Census Bureau, the Government Printing Office, and the Voice of America, the company said Tuesday. Financial details of the deals were not released.

Akamai shares were up 18 cents to $11.13 by market close Tuesday. Earlier in the day, shares touched $12.65.

Akamai makes software that speeds delivery of information over the Internet. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company also signed deals earlier this month with EDS and XO Communications.

The company could use the business; in April, it posted a $2.2 billion loss for the first quarter, citing slower demand for its services. Akamai also announced then that it would let go of about 14 percent of its work force.

That news had prompted a few analysts to question whether the company would be able to meet its previously stated target of breaking even on an operating basis by the second quarter of 2002.