Big Gains for Akamai, EMC, Monster, VMware

Investors responded to rosy earnings reports from Cambridge networking leader Akamai, Hopkinton-based storage giant EMC, and EMC subsidiary VMware with rare enthusiasm today. All three companies saw gains of at least 8 percent in their share values, with Akamai soaring more than 12 percent. Job site Monster (which has offices in Maynard) was also a big gainer, rising more than 7.5 percent.

Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) yesterday reported third-quarter revenues of $161 million, up 45 percent over the third quarter of 2006 and up 6 percent over the second quarter of 2007. President and CEO Paul Sagan said demand was strong in all of the core markets for Akamai’s technology, which hastens delivery of Internet-based content and applications. The company’s stock finished the day at $37.13, up 12.6 percent from Wednesday’s closing price.

EMC (NYSE: EMC) said in its earnings report yesterday that in addition to seeing strong sales of its storage appliances, it benefited from the sale of $115 million worth of VMware stock to Cisco Systems. That brought third-quarter revenues to $3.3 billion—a 17 percent gain over the same period in 2006. Investors rewarded EMC by driving its stock price to a six-year high of $24.45, an increase of 8.5 percent for the day.

Part of EMC’s luster may have been derived from VMware’s ongoing success (even after the August 16 IPO and sales of shares to Cisco and Intel, EMC still owns 86 percent of the virtualization software maker). VMware (NYSE: VMW) reported revenues of $358 million in the third quarter, a 90 percent increase compared to the same quarter in 2006. That news stoked the stock’s already stellar rise; VMware closed at $113.90, up 10.0 percent from Wednesday’s levels. VMware shares have now nearly doubled in value since the IPO barely two months ago; by contrast, it took Google’s stock more than eight months to double after its August, 2004 debut.

Meanwhile, Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ: MNST) closed at $38.80, up 7.6 percent for the day, on news that year-over-year revenue jumped 18 percent in the third quarter, to $337 million. Though the job-search market was tepid in the United States, Monster achieved strong growth internationally in the quarter, said CEO Sal Iannuzzi.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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