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Investors expect modest Infosys Q4 earnings

Endless restructuring, management exits, and a soft market may have taken the steam out of the company - that could reflect not just in the fourth quarter of 2013/2014 but also in the coming year.

twitter-logo Goutam Das        Last Updated: April 15, 2014  | 08:14 IST
Modest expectations from Infosys's Q4 results
(Photo: Reuters)

Investors have modest expectations from India's third largest IT exporter Infosys, which opens the technology earnings calendar on Tuesday, April 15.

Endless restructuring, management exits, and a soft market may have taken the steam out of the company - that could reflect not just in the fourth quarter of 2013/2014 but also in the coming year.

For the March quarter, analysts expect the company to report flat sequential growth in dollar terms, between $2102 million and 2108 million on the back of reduced spending in sectors such as retail. In the quarter ended December 2013, Infosys had reported revenues of $2,100 million.

A flat growth would mean Infosys would again lag peers.

Brokerage house Sharekhan expects TCS, Wipro and HCL to pull in revenue growth of 2.6 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively. Wipro may lead the IT pack in the fourth quarter because of inorganic revenues from its Opus acquisition.

"Infosys' issues are company specific and it may take two more quarters before the company can get rid of financial volatility," Sanjeev Hota of Sharekhan says.

That means the company could lag industry peers yet again, in 2014/2015. Many analysts see Infosys growing below Nasscom's guidance of 13-15 per cent industry growth this year.

The wide swings in the company's financials over the last few quarters have made predictions difficult for analysts - they see Infosys' full year 2014/2015 revenues to come in a wide band of 6-10 per cent growth.

Researchers at Kotak Institution Equities, for instance, see the company growing 10.1 per cent this year and 12.8 per cent in 2015/2016. "Strong demand in North America and market-share gains in Europe will keep Indian IT on track to grow faster in FY2015 than FY2014," the researchers said.  

While analysts see no surprises on the margins front during the March quarter, they would watch out for management commentary on the currency strategy in the year ahead, given the rupee's appreciation. Dollar-Rupee exchange for 2014/2015 is expected at 61 from 63 projected earlier.

"We assume companies will be able to offset the impact on margins from Rupee appreciation through operational levers and efficiencies - tighter execution, pyramid and utilization," Kotak said in a report.

Infosys shares closed at Rs 3235.85 on Friday, up nearly 1 per cent. The stock markets were closed on Monday on account of Ambedkar Jayanti.

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