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Tech treat on results menu

Mumbai/Bangalore, Oct. 11: Technology stole the show today as curtains went up on the second-quarter earnings season with an Infosys cracker and a TCS scorcher.

The Bangalore bellwether racked up a 30 per cent rise in its profit at Rs 592 crore while the Tata titan scored an 81 per cent increase in its bottomline at Rs 620.32 crore. The Big Daddies set the tone for minnows like iGate and MphasiS, which added to the number dazzle.

For Infosys, the profit surge from Rs 454.85 crore in July-September 2004 was topped up with forecasts of rosier year-end revenues, which are seen at Rs 9,361 crore to Rs 9,383 crore, up 31.61 per cent over previous estimates. Predictions for the third-quarter ending December are in the range of Rs 2,443 crore to Rs 2,452 crore.

On a consolidated basis, net profit was Rs 606 crore compared with Rs 447 crore in the second quarter of the previous year. That came on a total income of Rs 2215 crore compared with Rs 1719.79 crore in the year-ago period.

The firm garnered 64.5 per cent of its revenues from the US; Europe’s contribution went up 2 per cent to 23.7 per cent. An interim dividend of 130 per cent, at Rs 6.50 per share, has been declared. Earnings per share rose to Rs 21.75 from Rs 16.99. It is seen at Rs 23.10 in this quarter. The Infy stock ended at Rs 2,683.90 on BSE, up from Rs 2,622.45 on Monday. Meanwhile, the company said N.R. Narayana Murthy will retire as executive chairman in August next year.

TCS scorcher

TCS kept up the tempo unleashed by Infosys, logging an income of Rs 2982.60 crore in the second quarter against Rs 2448.19 crore in the same period of previous year.

“The significant client acquisitions we have had in the previous quarters have resulted in excellent ramp-up and growth. Our ability to manage complex technology engagements on a global scale will continue to be a growth driver,” CEO and managing director S. Ramadorai said. The stock ended at Rs 1467.90 on BSE, up from Rs 1442.30 on Monday.

TCS reduced its dependence on General Electric, its biggest customer, whose share in overseas revenues declined to 12.3 per cent from 13.1 per cent in the first quarter. The company widened its area of services and consolidated operations by acquiring group firm Tata Infotech.

The software maker also stands to benefit from a weak rupee, chief financial officer S Mahalingam said. The currency, at 44.88 against the dollar, will help TCS squeeze out more from every greenback earned from the US.

CMC, another Tata group, however saw its net profit fall to Rs 9.46 crore in the second quarter from Rs 12.68 crore. Revenues increased 11.61 per cent to Rs 197.56 crore from Rs 177 crore, the Hyderabad-based firm told BSE.

Hiring high

The earnings sizzle at the two technology heavyweights was also mirrored in the payroll boost. While TCS added 4224 employees in the second quarter, taking its total past 50,000, Infosys’ head-count increased by a record 8026 to 46,196 over the same period.

Small wonders

TCS and Infosys were not the only stunners on the first day of big scorecards. MphasiS announced a 27.45 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 40.16 crore for the quarter against Rs 31.51 crore a year ago. Income increased to Rs 230.22 crore from Rs 191.10 crore. “This year, we crossed the $100-million mark in revenues in six months and went past the Rs 40-crore milestone in quarterly profit,” chairman and CEO Jerry Rao said.

iGate Global Solutions notched up a 84.9 per cent jump in earnings at Rs 5.62 crore.

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