The initial public offering of Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM), which speeds up content delivery for major Web sites, was expected to be one of the hottest IPOs of the year. It didn’t disappoint. Akamai priced its IPO at $26, and the stock closed its first day of trading at 145-3/16, a gain of 458 percent. The dramatic climb gave Akamai a market value of more than $13 billion.
Akamai’s services are in high demand because studies have shown that slow delivery of content, which leads to long download times, will often cause potential customers to leave a Web site. With heavyweight investors such as Microsoft and Cisco and a leadership position in a nascent, high-growth industry, Akamai is certainly a company to watch. This stock could keep climbing.