(Bloomberg) -- Darktrace Plc shares plunged after a brokerage said the artificial intelligence-focused cybersecurity firm’s stock is worth only half its current value.
Peel Hunt analysts including Oyvind Bjerke said in a report Monday that some experts they consulted consider Darktrace’s product to be a “gimmick,” though others felt it offered protection in the event of a serious attack. The shares plunged as much as 27% -- the most since the Cambridge, England-based firm went public in April.
The analysts started coverage of the stock with a sell rating and a price target of 473 pence -- implying 50% downside from Friday’s close -- citing “the potential market size, the intensifying competition, and Darktrace’s limited R&D spend.” A spokeswoman for Darktrace wasn’t immediately able to comment.
Darktrace offers network detection and response products, known as NDR, which detect anomalies in a business’s network in order to stop malicious activity, according to Peel Hunt. However, the analysts wrote that the usefulness of Darktrace’s product is partly dependent on whether the client has capable IT professionals able to invest sufficient time on it. “If not, the value from Darktrace is low,” they said.
The stock was down 15% to 803.5 pence a share as of 12:49 p.m. in London. The shares are still up more than 200% from their initial public offering price of 250 pence a share.
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