Fourth-quarter sales climbed 17 percent to $378 million, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said yesterday in a statement. That trailed the $381.4 million predicted by analysts on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For the first quarter, the company forecast revenue of $352 million to $362 million, short of the $369.8 million estimate.
The results showed signs of softening demand for Akamai’s services, which help customers such as news sites and Web retailers speed up their online offerings, said Chad Bartley, an analyst at Portland, Oregon-based Pacific Crest Securities.
“Revenue was definitely lighter than expectations,” he said. “Growth decelerated quite a bit in the fourth quarter.”
Akamai shares fell as low as $34.60 in extended trading after the earnings report. The stock, up 1.6 percent this year, had closed at $41.58 yesterday in New York.