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Shares of Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW) had a rough day on Thursday, dipping as low as 10.3% below Wednesday's closing prices at 11:30 a.m. and again by 1:15 p.m. EST. The plunge appears to be an overreaction to a fairly trivial press release.
In the aforementioned release, the content delivery expert announced a public offering of shares. There were no clues regarding the size of the stock sale, but the shares will not be of the freshly printed variety. Instead, they will come from the holdings of asset managers affiliated with megabank Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).
The Goldman detail should have removed all the teeth from this innocuous stock offering. Stock offerings often dilute the holding of existing share owners, triggering an appropriate and immediate reduction of share prices. But it looks like Limelight's share count will stay the same -- Goldman is simply offloading some of its holdings to other investors. No dilution in sight.
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At worst, you could read this move as a de facto downgrade or bearish comment made by a leading market analyst firm. But Goldman holds a stunning 28% stake in Limelight today, making it far and away the largest shareholder on record.
Thanks to a handful of earnings surprises and a solid revenue uptick in recent quarters, Limelight shares have more than doubled in 52 weeks. I can't blame Goldman for taking some of those profits off the table, especially since the move won't trip up shareholders in general. So today's plunge looks like a knee-jerk reaction to an innocent money management maneuver, and you could treat it as a wide-open opportunity to buy into the stock.
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