3 Hot Stocks Making Waves After Earnings

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM): Akamai Technologies, Inc. provides a distributed computing platform for accelerating and improving delivery of content and applications over the Internet. The company also offers solutions that enhance tools that people use for business transactions. AKAM reported second quarter net income that rose to $47.9 million (25 cents per share) vs. $38.1 million (20 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 25.7% from the year earlier quarter. Revenues rose 12.9% to $277 million from the year earlier quarter. Akamai reported adjusted net income of 35 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 27 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $278 million. AKAM shares slumped more than -16% before the opening bell.

“Trends in cloud computing, Internet security, mobile connectivity, and the proliferation of online video have continued to drive our customers’ online initiatives and our business success,” said Paul Sagan, CEO of Akamai. “With the scale, data and software underlying the Akamai intelligent platform, combined with our deep industry expertise, we believe Akamai is uniquely capable of enabling our customers’ online businesses to grow revenues and reduce costs. We continue to position Akamai to lead the next evolution of cloud computing by investing in the business to build new and innovative solutions that leverage the Company’s core competencies.”

Competitors to Watch: Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW), Intl. Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX), Level three Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:LVLT), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

AFLAC Inc. (NYSE:AFL): The insurance company reported its second quarter results, with net income falling to $280 million (60 cents per share) vs. $581 million ($1.23 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 51.8% from the year earlier quarter. Revenues rose 2.2% to $5.09 billion from the year earlier. AFLs operating income, which takes into account special items, was $1.56 per share beating the mean analyst estimate of $1.54 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $5.69 billion. AFL stock was up 4.42% in premarket trading.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. Amos stated: “We are pleased with our overall results in the second quarter of 2011. Aflac Japan overcame challenges resulting from the most destructive and devastating natural disaster in Japan’s history, to achieve strong sales growth.”

Competitors to Watch: CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), American Insurance Group (NYSE:AIG), and Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM).

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM): Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates the chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. Its products include seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery and prepared foods. The company reported its fiscal third quarter earnings. Net income for the grocery store rose to $88.5 million (50 cents per share) vs. $65.7 million (38 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 34.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 10.9% to $2.4 billion from the year earlier quarter. WFM beat the mean analyst estimate of 39 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $9.9 billion. The stock was up 2.86% in early trading.

“We are continuing to gain market share at a faster rate than most public food retailers as reflected in our 8.5% comparable store sales growth year to date. We attribute much of our success to our value efforts, which have improved our price image, and to continuing to raise the bar in areas that matter to our customers, particularly quality standards and health and wellness,” said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “We are producing consistently strong top- and bottom-line results and are very excited to be accelerating our new store openings once again. Through continued innovation and ongoing discipline around expenses and capital allocation, we expect to deliver higher levels of both operating performance and returns on invested capital over time.”

Competitors to Watch: Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), and SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU).