AUTONOMY reported a sharp rise in profits and earnings yesterday bolstering investor hopes that the worst of the downturn is behind it.
The software firm announced revenue of $194.2m (£126m), up 50 per cent year-on-year, and adjusted net profit of $61.7m, up 44 per cent from $40.2m the year before.
The results were slightly above the market consensus for the first quarter, traditionally a tough trading period for the firm.
However, question marks remain over the firm’s ability to convert sales to earnings, with the average time to collect cash creeping up.
Chief executive Mike Lynch said: “The stronger pipeline and improved closure rates mean that we are growing more confident about a possible recovery.”
He added: “Customers have resumed planning for larger projects, the main effects of which we expect to see in the second half.”
Autonomy produces software that can search through emails, telephone conversations and documents, and has a mixture of public and private sector clients. It is the second largest software firm in Europe, with a market cap of $6bn.
Analysts expect the acquisitive firm to make a major bid for a firm after it raised £500m in a convertible bond issue in February.
A deal is likely to be in the business intelligence or web-content management sectors, analysts say.