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Akamai posts smaller-than-expected loss in 2Q

    Akamai Technologies posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its second quarter Monday, losing $43.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $18.1 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 57 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) shares closed off 9 1/8 to 107 7/8.

    The $18.1 million in sales represents a 151 percent improvement from the first quarter when it posted a loss of $24.2 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $7.2 million. In the year-ago quarter, it recorded sales of $400,000.

    "Akamai continues to sustain its market-leading position by succeeding in our three strategic core areas--customer growth, network partnerships, and technology development--as this quarter's strong financial results and other metrics demonstrate," said CEO George Conrades in a prepared release.

    In the quarter, Akamai's customer base surged to 2,100 signed customers, including 895 customers under recurring contracts.

    Akamai shares soared up to a 52-week high of 345 1/2 in December before falling to a low of 56 5/8 in May.

    All nine analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    Analysts predict Akamai will report a loss of $2.12 a share in the fiscal year.