India's Top IT Exporter TCS Posts Solid Earnings Outperforming Market Expectations; Shares Soar Above 5 Percent

  on July 19 2013 2:50 AM

Tata Consultancy Services (BOM:532540), or TCS, India's top IT exporter, exceeded market expectations to post strong earnings in the first quarter of the current financial year, which sent the company's shares soaring on India's stock exchanges on Friday afternoon.

Mumbai-based TCS, a part the Tata conglomerate, on Thursday reported net profits of 37.96 billion rupees ($668 million) for the first quarter -- a 17 percent jump from the 32.8 billion rupees in profits from a year ago, according to an official statement. Reuters data showed analysts had expected the profit number to be 37.8 billion rupees. The company's revenues increased by 21 percent year-on-year to 179.87 billion rupees from 148.69 billion rupees in the previous year, according to the earnings release.

“We have delivered another solid quarter, driven by the highest volume growth in the past seven quarters. It has been an all-round performance with strong revenue growth across markets led by the US. Our investments in Europe continue to gain strong traction with customers and helped us deliver industry-leading growth this quarter,” said N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of TCS, in a statement.

The company's stronger-than-expected performance was aided by robust demand from the U.S. market, which contributes a major share of the revenues for India’s $108 billion IT industry, and a rapidly weakening rupee, which depreciated almost 10 percent against the dollar in the April to June quarter.

Although TCS does not provide an earnings forecast, Chandrasekaran said: "Strong momentum in our business, the right cost structure, a customer-centric approach and our increasing investments in new digital solutions and services positions us well to post another year of strong business growth.”

Last week, rival Infosys (NYSE:INFY), which was once considered the bellwether for India's IT industry, also posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and retained its outlook for the second quarter of the year, reflecting an upward momentum in demand from the U.S. -- the company's largest market.

Until its strong performance in the first quarter of 2013, Bangalore-based Infosys, India's third-largest IT exporter, had weathered a string of disappointing quarterly earnings and had slashed its business outlook in recent quarters.

TCS and Infosys form the backbone of India's software industry and earn nearly 75 percent of their revenues from exports to the U.S. and Europe.

Shares of Bangalore-based MindTree Ltd. (BOM:532819), which posted its quarterly earnings report after market hours on Thursday, surged 5.66 percent to a six-year high on Friday, after the company reported a 52 percent increase in its first quarter net profit of 1.35 billion rupees, helped by an increase in new projects and foreign exchange gains from a weak rupee.

Revenues for the April-June quarter was up 15 percent to 6.48 billion rupees. Analysts had expected the company to post a net profit of 1 billion rupees on revenues of 6.36 billion rupees.

The mid-tier software services exporter said it had gained about 620 million rupees in forex transactions in the April-June quarter, compared with a forex loss worth 150 million rupees in the previous quarter when the rupee had appreciated about 1.3 percent against the dollar.

TCS shares were trading up 5.7 percent, while MindTree was trading up 3.43 percent in early afternoon trade on India's BSE Sensex index.

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