Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s most trusted solution for protecting and delivering digital experiences, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.
“We are pleased with our excellent start in 2021, with revenue, margins and earnings all exceeding expectations,” said Dr. Tom Leighton, Chief Executive Officer. “We continued to capitalize on the substantial opportunities for our business, as demonstrated by the very strong growth of our security and edge applications solutions and strong traffic growth on the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform.”
Akamai delivered the following financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021:
Revenue: Revenue was $843 million, a 10% increase over first quarter 2020 revenue of $764 million and an 8% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange.*
Revenue by Product Group:
- Security Technology Group revenue was $310 million, up 29% year-over-year and up 27% when adjusted for foreign exchange*
- Edge Technology Group revenue was $532 million, up 2% year-over-year and flat when adjusted for foreign exchange*
Revenue by Geography:
- U.S. revenue was $463 million, up 8% year-over-year
- International revenue was $380 million, up 13% year-over-year and up 8% when adjusted for foreign exchange*
Income from operations: GAAP income from operations was $182 million, a 20% increase from first quarter 2020. GAAP operating margin for the first quarter was 22%, up 2 percentage points from the same period last year.
Non-GAAP income from operations* was $264 million, a 15% increase from first quarter 2020. Non-GAAP operating margin* for the first quarter was 31%, up 1 percentage point from the same period last year.
Net income: GAAP net income was $156 million, a 26% increase from first quarter 2020. Non-GAAP net income* was $228 million, a 16% increase from first quarter 2020.
EPS: GAAP EPS was $0.94 per diluted share, a 25% increase from first quarter 2020 and an 18% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange.* Non-GAAP EPS was $1.38 per diluted share, a 15% increase from first quarter 2020 and an 11% increase when adjusted for foreign exchange.*
Adjusted EBITDA*: Adjusted EBITDA* was $375 million, a 15% increase from first quarter 2020. Adjusted EBITDA margin* for the first quarter was 45%, up 2 percentage points from the same period last year.
Supplemental cash information: Cash from operations for the first quarter of 2021 was $250 million, or 30% of revenue. Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was $2.5 billion as of March 31, 2021.
Share repurchases: Akamai spent $58 million in the first quarter of 2021 to repurchase 0.6 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $98.39 per share. The Company had 163 million shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2021.
* See Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures below for definitions
Quarterly Conference Call
Akamai will host a conference call today at 4:30 p.m. ET that can be accessed through 1-844-578-9671 (or 1-508-637-5655 for international calls) and using passcode 6557299. A live webcast of the call may be accessed at www.akamai.com in the Investor section. In addition, a replay of the call will be available for two weeks following the conference by calling 1-855-859-2056 (or 1-404-537-3406 for international calls) and using passcode 6557299. The archived webcast of this event may be accessed through the Akamai website.
Akamai powers and protects life online. The most innovative companies worldwide choose Akamai to secure and deliver their digital experiences — helping billions of people live, work, and play every day. With the world's largest and most trusted edge platform, Akamai keeps apps, code, and experiences closer to users — and threats farther away. Learn more about Akamai's security, content delivery, and edge compute products and services at www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to providing financial measurements based on generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (GAAP), Akamai provides additional financial metrics that are not prepared in accordance with GAAP (non-GAAP). Management uses non-GAAP financial measures, in addition to GAAP financial measures, to understand and compare operating results across accounting periods, for financial and operational decision making, for planning and forecasting purposes, to measure executive compensation and to evaluate Akamai's financial performance. These non-GAAP financial measures are non-GAAP income from operations, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP net income per diluted share, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, capital expenditures and impact of foreign currency exchange rates, as discussed below.
Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures reflect Akamai's ongoing business in a manner that allows for meaningful comparisons and analysis of trends in the business, as they facilitate comparison of financial results across accounting periods and to those of our peer companies. Management also believes that these non-GAAP financial measures enable investors to evaluate Akamai's operating results and future prospects in the same manner as management. These non-GAAP financial measures may exclude expenses and gains that may be unusual in nature, infrequent or not reflective of Akamai's ongoing operating results.
The non-GAAP financial measures do not replace the presentation of Akamai's GAAP financial results and should only be used as a supplement to, not as a substitute for, Akamai's financial results presented in accordance with GAAP. Akamai has provided a reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure used in its financial reporting and investor presentations to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. This reconciliation captioned “Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Financial Measures” can be found on the Investor Relations section of Akamai's website.
The non-GAAP adjustments, and Akamai's basis for excluding them from non-GAAP financial measures, are outlined below:
- Amortization of acquired intangible assets – Akamai has incurred amortization of intangible assets, included in its GAAP financial statements, related to various acquisitions Akamai has made. The amount of an acquisition's purchase price allocated to intangible assets and term of its related amortization can vary significantly and is unique to each acquisition; therefore, Akamai excludes amortization of acquired intangible assets from its non-GAAP financial measures to provide investors with a consistent basis for comparing pre- and post-acquisition operating results.
- Stock-based compensation and amortization of capitalized stock-based compensation – Although stock-based compensation is an important aspect of the compensation paid to Akamai's employees, the grant date fair value varies based on the stock price at the time of grant, varying valuation methodologies, subjective assumptions and the variety of award types. This makes the comparison of Akamai's current financial results to previous and future periods difficult to interpret; therefore, Akamai believes it is useful to exclude stock-based compensation and amortization of capitalized stock-based compensation from its non-GAAP financial measures in order to highlight the performance of Akamai's core business and to be consistent with the way many investors evaluate its performance and compare its operating results to peer companies.
- Acquisition-related costs – Acquisition-related costs include transaction fees, advisory fees, due diligence costs and other direct costs associated with strategic activities. In addition, subsequent adjustments to Akamai's initial estimated amounts of contingent consideration and indemnification associated with specific acquisitions are included within acquisition-related costs. These amounts are impacted by the timing and size of the acquisitions. Akamai excludes acquisition-related costs from its non-GAAP financial measures to provide a useful comparison of Akamai's operating results to prior periods and to its peer companies because such amounts vary significantly based on the magnitude of the acquisition transactions and do not reflect Akamai's core operations.
- Restructuring charges – Akamai has incurred restructuring charges that are included in its GAAP financial statements, primarily related to workforce reductions and charges associated with exiting facility lease commitments. Akamai excludes these items from its non-GAAP financial measures when evaluating its continuing business performance as such items vary significantly based on the magnitude of the restructuring action and do not reflect expected future operating expenses. In addition, these charges do not necessarily provide meaningful insight into the fundamentals of current or past operations of its business.
- Amortization of debt discount and issuance costs and amortization of capitalized interest expense – In August 2019, Akamai issued $1,150 million of convertible senior notes due 2027 with a coupon interest rate of 0.375%. In May 2018, Akamai issued $1,150 million of convertible senior notes due 2025 with a coupon interest rate of 0.125%. The imputed interest rates of these convertible senior notes were 3.10% and 4.26%, respectively. This is a result of the debt discounts recorded for the conversion features that are required to be separately accounted for as equity under GAAP, thereby reducing the carrying value of the convertible debt instruments. The debt discounts are amortized as interest expense together with the issuance costs of the debt. The interest expense excluded from Akamai's non-GAAP results is comprised of these non-cash components and is excluded from management's assessment of the company's operating performance because management believes the non-cash expense is not representative of ongoing operating performance.
- Gains and losses on investments – Akamai has recorded gains and losses from the disposition, changes to fair value and impairment of certain investments. Akamai believes excluding these amounts from its non-GAAP financial measures is useful to investors as the types of events giving rise to these gains and losses are not representative of Akamai's core business operations and ongoing operating performance.
- Legal settlements – Akamai has incurred losses related to the settlement of legal matters. Akamai believes excluding these amounts from its non-GAAP financial measures is useful to investors as the types of events giving rise to them are not representative of Akamai's core business operations.
- Endowment of Akamai Foundation – Akamai has incurred expenses to endow the Akamai Foundation, a private corporate foundation dedicated to encouraging the next generation of technology innovators by supporting math and science education. Akamai's first endowment was in 2018 to enable a permanent endowment for the Akamai Foundation to allow it to expand its reach. In the fourth quarter of 2020 Akamai supplemented the endowment to enable specific initiatives to increase diversity in the technology industry. Akamai believes excluding these amounts from non-GAAP financial measures is useful to investors as these infrequent and nearly one-time expenses are not representative of its core business operations.
- Income and losses from equity method investment – Akamai records income or losses on its share of earnings and losses from its equity method investment. Akamai excludes such income and losses because it does not direct control over the operations of the investment and the related income and losses are not representative of its core business operations.
- Income tax effect of non-GAAP adjustments and certain discrete tax items – The non-GAAP adjustments described above are reported on a pre-tax basis. The income tax effect of non-GAAP adjustments is the difference between GAAP and non-GAAP income tax expense. Non-GAAP income tax expense is computed on non-GAAP pre-tax income (GAAP pre-tax income adjusted for non-GAAP adjustments) and excludes certain discrete tax items (such as recording or releasing of valuation allowances), if any. Akamai believes that applying the non-GAAP adjustments and their related income tax effect allows Akamai to highlight income attributable to its core operations.
Akamai's definitions of its non-GAAP financial measures are outlined below:
Non-GAAP income from operations – GAAP income from operations adjusted for the following items: amortization of acquired intangible assets; stock-based compensation; amortization of capitalized stock-based compensation; amortization of capitalized interest expense; acquisition-related costs; restructuring charges; gains and losses on legal settlements; costs incurred related to endowments to the Akamai Foundation; and other non-recurring or unusual items that may arise from time to time.
Non-GAAP operating margin – Non-GAAP income from operations stated as a percentage of revenue.
Non-GAAP net income – GAAP net income adjusted for the following tax-affected items: amortization of acquired intangible assets; stock-based compensation; amortization of capitalized stock-based compensation; acquisition-related costs; restructuring charges; gains and losses on legal settlements; costs incurred related to endowments to the Akamai Foundation; amortization of debt discount and issuance costs; amortization of capitalized interest expense; certain gains and losses on investments; income and losses from equity method investment; and other non-recurring or unusual items that may arise from time to time.
Non-GAAP net income per diluted share – Non-GAAP net income divided by weighted average diluted common shares outstanding. Diluted weighted average shares outstanding are adjusted in non-GAAP per share calculations for the shares that would be delivered to Akamai pursuant to the note hedge transactions entered into in connection with the issuances of $1,150 million of convertible senior notes due 2027 and 2025, respectively. Under GAAP, shares delivered under hedge transactions are not considered offsetting shares in the fully-diluted share calculation until they are delivered. However, the company would receive a benefit from the note hedge transactions and would not allow the dilution to occur, so management believes that adjusting for this benefit provides a meaningful view of operating performance. With respect to the convertible senior notes due in each of 2027 and 2025, unless Akamai's weighted average stock price is greater than $116.18 and $95.10, respectively, the initial conversion price, there will be no difference between GAAP and non-GAAP diluted weighted average common shares outstanding.
Adjusted EBITDA – GAAP net income excluding the following items: interest income; income taxes; depreciation and amortization of tangible and intangible assets; stock-based compensation; amortization of capitalized stock-based compensation; acquisition-related costs; restructuring charges; gains and losses on legal settlements; costs incurred related to endowments to the Akamai Foundation; foreign exchange gains and losses; interest expense; amortization of capitalized interest expense; certain gains and losses on investments; income and losses on equity method investment; and other non-recurring or unusual items that may arise from time to time.
Adjusted EBITDA margin – Adjusted EBITDA stated as a percentage of revenue.
Capital expenditures, or capex, excluding stock-based compensation and interest expense – Purchases of property and equipment and capitalization of internal-use software development costs presented on an accrual basis, which differs from the cash-basis presentation included in the statements of cash flows. The primary difference between the two is the change in purchases of property and equipment and capitalization of internal-use software development costs accrued for, but not paid, at period end versus prior periods.
Impact of foreign currency exchange rate – Revenue and earnings from international operations have historically been an important contributor to Akamai's financial results. Consequently, Akamai's financial results have been impacted, and management expects they will continue to be impacted, by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. For example, when the local currencies of our foreign subsidiaries weaken, our consolidated results stated in U.S. dollars are negatively impacted.
Because exchange rates are a meaningful factor in understanding period-to-period comparisons, management believes the presentation of the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on revenue and earnings enhances the understanding of our financial results and evaluation of performance in comparison to prior periods. The dollar impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates presented is calculated by translating current period results using monthly average foreign currency exchange rates from the comparative period and comparing them to the reported amount. The percentage change at constant currency presented is calculated by comparing the prior period amounts as reported and the current period amounts translated using the same monthly average foreign currency exchange rates from the comparative period.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
This release and/or our quarterly earnings conference call scheduled for later today contain information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai's management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about expected future financial performance. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, inability to continue to generate cash at the same level as prior years; failure to realize the expected benefits from our announced reorganization; failure of our investments in innovation to generate solutions that are accepted in the market; inability to increase our revenue at the same rate as in the past and keep our expenses from increasing at a greater rate than our revenues; impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; delay in developing or failure to develop new service offerings or functionalities, and if developed, lack of market acceptance of such service offerings and functionalities or failure of such solutions to operate as expected, and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.
In addition, the statements in this press release and on such call represent Akamai's expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release. Akamai anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations and beliefs to change. However, while Akamai may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Akamai's expectations or beliefs as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.