Lynch says tech sell-off is overdone

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The Independent Online

Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy Corporation, the software group that switched its primary listing to London last month, became the latest New Economy guru to pronounce the sell-off in technology stocks overdone. "There are some real buying opportunities at the moment. Some of the US stocks in particular have been hammered unfairly. Now is the time to be buying. I don't think the really good companies can fall much further," Dr Lynch said yesterday.

Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy Corporation, the software group that switched its primary listing to London last month, became the latest New Economy guru to pronounce the sell-off in technology stocks overdone. "There are some real buying opportunities at the moment. Some of the US stocks in particular have been hammered unfairly. Now is the time to be buying. I don't think the really good companies can fall much further," Dr Lynch said yesterday.

The comments came just 24 hours after Abby Cohen, the celebrity equity strategist from Goldman Sachs, said she was softening her stance on the technology sector, prompting a rally in tech stocks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Separately, Autonomy, which makes software that can categorise e-mails and Web pages, posted financial results exceeding analysts' expectations. Third quarter sales were $17.6m (£11.7m), up 21 per cent on the second quarter. Net income was $6.5m, up from $3.4m. Operating margins doubled to 26 per cent. "Our revenues are growing exponentially, headcount is not," said Dr Lynch, a former Cambridge University maths tutor.

Autonomy said it would lose the services of Robert Perle, a non-executive director, should George Bush win the US election. Mr Perle is set to join the US defence department, already an Autonomy customer, in a Bush administration.

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