Cognizant raises lower-end of 2017 guidance again

IT services provider Cognizant seemed all set to clock the upper end of its full-year guidance for calendar year 2017, raising the lower-end of its forecast once again.

The company, which had changed its revenue growth forecast for 2017 to 9-10% from 8-10% last quarter, further fine-tuned it to 9.5%-10.0% this time.

It now expects full year revenue at $14.78 billion to $14.84 billion, up from 14.70-14.84 range given last quarter. In the beginning of the year, it had forecast 14.56-14.84, or 8-10% growth.

At 10% growth, the company will be among the best performers among largely India-based IT services providers. Others are likely to end up with around 5-9% growth in dollar terms. TCS reported 8.3% growth for the quarter last month.

Revenue for the third quarter came in at 3.77 bln dollars, up from 3.67 bln in the preceding quarter. The number represented a year-on-year growth of 9.1%.

It said the final quarter will deliver revenue of $3.79 billion to $3.85 billion.

Net profit for the third quarter was $495 million, up from $444 million last year.

EPS adjusted for exceptional items came in at $0.98, compared to $0.86 in the third quarter of 2016. Fourth quarter adjusted EPS is expected to be at least $0.95.

GAAP operating margin was 17.2% and adjusted operating margin was 20.0% for the third quarter of 2017.

“We are making consistent progress in executing the plan to accelerate our shift to digital services and solutions,” said Francisco D’Souza, Chief Executive Officer.

“We’ve systematically built the significant capabilities needed to help our clients transform their business, operating, and technology models ̶ a transformation we call digital at scale. We believe our long-term relationships with clients and deep understanding of their priorities puts us in a privileged position to help them adapt, compete, and grow.”

“We delivered solid third-quarter performance and completed a $1.5 billion Accelerated Share Repurchase program,” said Karen McLoughlin, Chief Financial Officer.

“During the quarter, we continued to take actions designed to improve our cost structure while allowing us to invest in the business for growth. We maintained our momentum, and we expect to close out 2017 with solid revenue and earnings growth while having undertaken a substantial return of capital to shareholders.”