Akamai Technologies Inc., frequently the target of takeover speculation, is preparing to make some acquisitions of its own to increase profit.
Akamai, which helps businesses deliver data more quickly over the Internet, is shopping for security and networking companies, said Willie Tejada, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s enterprise cloud unit.
In security, he said, he is looking at firewall technology for Web applications.
The Cambridge-based company’s customers, which include Apple Inc., MTV Networks, and Verizon Wireless, depend on the company to keep websites running during peaks in demand — for instance, during a major news event or product announcement.
Akamai is betting it can make more money channeling that traffic if it sells extra services such as security.
“We’re interested if the tech set we can acquire can get us into a market in a faster than 12-month period,” Tejada said in an interview at Akamai’s satellite office in San Mateo, Calif. “Those two things — security and networking — are really the growth areas for Akamai.”
Akamai, with $1.2 billion in revenue in 2011, wants to add $100 million in annual sales from new businesses within three years.
The company entered the security market last year, and Tejada said he is satisfied with its progress, though the company does not provide the unit’s sales figures.
Akamai could use a profit boost.
Its adjusted profit margin shrank to 43 percent last quarter from 46 percent a year earlier.
The figure excludes items such as interest, taxes, and stock-based compensation.
Tejada named one company, Zscaler Inc., in describing what Akamai would be interested in, though the two sides are not in talks, he said. Akamai could also make purchases to expand geographically or to add talent, Tejada said.
Zscaler allows businesses to block viruses, prevent data loss, and control bandwidth through the Internet, rather than forcing them to install software or hardware.
Akamai shares fell 0.7 percent to $37.55 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 16 percent this year.