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Cognizant bullish on 2012 after strong Q4

Goutam Das     February 8, 2012
Goutam Das
Goutam Das
Cognizant on Wednesday reported a full year 2012 outlook that took many by surprise. In a year of uncertain macros, the firm expects to grow 23 per cent to $7.53 billion. This has multiple implications for the industry.

One, Cognizant will consolidate its lead over Wipro as Indian IT's third largest exporter - most analysts expect Wipro to grow around 15 per cent in FY13. If Cognizant achieves the 23 per cent growth, it would also come in striking distance of No. 2 player Infosys, a company expected to clock around $7.95 billion during the year.

Earlier today, industry lobby body Nasscom came out with FY13 projections. It expects export revenues to grow 11-14 per cent. Of course, all top tier firms strive to beat the industry average.  

Cognizant's full year outlook, nevertheless, also points to healthy spending from the banking and financial services sector (BFSI). While certain parts of the sector remains stressed, regulatory and compliance related IT spending could drive the revenues of Indian IT services firms, primarily Cognizant and TCS who derive more than 40 per cent of their top line from the vertical.   

Analysts appeared pleased with Cognizant's fourth quarter performance as well. The firm grew its revenues 3.9 per cent sequentially to $1.66 billion - brokerage house Sharekhan's Sanjeev Hota said that looked very reasonable in what has been a soft quarter for the industry. "The firm's projections for 2012 reflect its confidence in a difficult environment. Because of its industry mix, Cognizant is in a sweet spot to capitalize on spending in BFSI and healthcare," he noted.

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