Autonomy bounces back with robust set of results

Steve Dinneen
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AUTONOMY staged a partial recovery yesterday after its disastrous profit warning earlier this month – which sent its shares falling 17 per cent – an update it now describes as “conservative”.

The software giant, which enables searches of information including emails, phone conversations, documents and video, posted third quarter pre-tax profit of $86.3m (£55m), a year-on-year hike of 34 per cent.

It also reported a 10 per cent rise in revenue to $211m, which comes in at the top of its own guidance.

Two weeks ago it warned its 2011 revenues could be as much as three per cent lower than estimates, sending its shares into free-fall.

But yesterday chief executive Mike Lynch said: “Given this update it may seem very conservative to have previously changed our outlook for the fourth quarter, but we felt it was safer. We are confident in maintaining our view of the outlook for demand and expect to continue to deliver good earnings per share growth in 2011, with upside to current market consensus.”

Analysts reacted warily to the update yesterday, with Evolution’s Roger Phillips saying the announcement “makes little sense”.