Darktrace shares soar as outlook brightens


US prosecutors who have charged Mr Lynch with fraud over the 2011 sale of his software company Autonomy have also attempted to drag Darktrace into the fray, seeking emails from executives who were at Autonomy at the time.

In a half-year trading update, Darktrace said it expected annual revenues to rise by between 42pc and 44pc, up from a previous forecast of 37pc to 39pc. It also said that its ebitda margin, a measure of profitability, would be higher than expected.

The FTSE 250 company said it expected half-year revenues to be at least $190m (£140m), an increase of at least 50pc. Sales were partly improved by the dollar weakening in recent months.

The update prompted Peel Hunt, whose downbeat analyst note had sent shares crashing in October, to upgrade its recommendation, advising clients to “hold” rather than “sell” Darktrace shares.

“Given the share price has now approached our target price, we pause for breath and move from Sell to Hold,” the broker said. Peel Hunt had previously said that Darktrace’s marketing was not matched by reality.

Analysts at Berenberg said Darktrace shares “have clearly been caught in a web of misinformation, which we think today’s update will serve to break”.

Mr Lynch, who owns 17.5pc of Darktrace along with his wife Angela Bacares, is fighting extradition over US fraud charges, which relate to Autonomy’s £7bn sale to HP in 2011.

Mr Lynch’s legal team has said any criminal charges against him should be heard in the UK.

Darktrace has previously warned investors that the allegations could be a risk to the company.


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