Akamai posts smaller-than-expected loss in 3Q

Akamai Technologies posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter Wednesday, losing $55.7 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $27.2 million.

First Call Corp. consensus predicted it would lose 68 cents a share in the quarter.

Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) shares closed off $8.75 to $40.38 ahead of the earnings report.

Last quarter, Akamai lost $43.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $18.1 million.

"Our results this quarter are representative of our ability to capture the huge market opportunity we see in managed edge services as Web traffic continues to grow exponentially and a multibillion-dollar market opportunity has developed for Internet infrastructure services at the edge," said CEO George Conrades in a prepared release.

Akamai exited the quarter with $438.7 million in cash and short-term investments compared to $515.7 million at the end of the second quarter.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of $345.50 in December before slumping to a low of $35 earlier this month.

All 16 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

Analysts expect it to lose $2.24 a share in the fiscal year.